Dispatches from the Trenches – Week 3

Although the NaNoWriMo tradition suggests that every day should be filled with writing, it’s Thanksgiving in America. I know this day will be spent with my family. I’m even writing this post in advance, so I won’t be distracted on the big day.

NaNoWriMo 2012

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been posting my correspondence from the front lines of NaNoWriMo. As the battle to finish my story rages on, I’ve shared my triumphs and losses. But not today. Instead, I want to take a break from the war on words and talk about why this holiday really means a lot to me.

We all have our particular Thanksgiving traditions. When I was a kid, Thanksgiving always meant an extra trip to church, followed by a big family dinner that my mom would prepare — often skipping out on the church service because the turkey needed to be basted or the potatoes needed to be mashed.

I remember rushing home from church to catch as much as possible of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. For me, the holiday season couldn’t start until I saw all the balloons and floats — and, of course, the jolly old man himself, Santa Claus —┬ámarch down New York City’s 34th Street.

Macy's Believe MeterThese days, Thanksgiving is a time for me to share with my wife and family. My wife and I wake up early on Thanksgiving morning. We have coffee while we watch the parade and slowly get ready for visiting family members.

She and I still delight to see our favorite childhood characters represented on floats and as gigantic balloons. We love to see the Muppets, and the characters from Sesame Street. She cries when the Radio City Rockettes perform. We still wave to Santa at the end of the parade.

Why? You might say it’s because we’re still children at heart. We still believe in magic. And when the Believe Meter in front of Macy’s goes from “Imagine” to “Believe,” our hearts swell with happiness and tears come to our eyes because we believe in the promise of hope that comes with this season.

I think that’s what I’m most thankful for — this year and every year. I’m thankful I have a wife who shares my hopes and dreams about the future. I’m thankful that she is a writer, too, and understands my need to tell stories. I’m thankful she still believes in magic. And I’m thankful that she refuses to grow up, even as we grow older together.

Kevin Wohler is a copywriter and novelist living in Lawrence, Kansas. During the day, he works at a digital marketing agency in the Kansas City area. When time remains, he likes to tell stories of the weird and bizarre. And sometimes, he writes them down for others to read.

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