The Thanksgiving Beast
By Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for chair and whip
When the five-year-old came home and said his class was having a Thanksgiving Feast, I thought he said Thanksgiving Beast. After attending the luncheon, I think we were both right. It was a Thanksgiving Feast for the Beasts.
I arrived early to help decorate the gym at the local church where the feast/beast was being held. The decorations were quite clever, hand prints of the children cut from construction paper and attached to birch branches stuck in a tin can weighted down with rocks. The tin can was then placed inside a paper sack with ribbon and raffia bows tied around it, straight out of Martha Stewart. Thanks goodness I wasn't asked to execute that design. Mine would have looked like sticks stuck in a can and no amount of ribbon or raffia would make it look cute or clever.
Each family brought a side dish or dessert for the feast. The super clever turkey cupcakes mentioned in my last blog took center stage on the dessert table even though I had shoved them over to the side as far as I could. I'm surprised the icing didn't melt considering all the flash cameras that were going off. Did I mention no one was taking pictures of my sombrero/pilgrim hat cookies?
At 11:30 the children arrived and practiced their songs in their "quiet practice" voice before all the parents arrived. When four more parents showed up they sang in their "loud performance" voice which wasn't any different from their "quiet" voice as far as I could tell. The window panes rattled both times.
After the song, the children in Pilgrim and Indian hats were released to their parents and the feasting began. I must say there are some very good cooks among the parents and grandparents of this kindergarten bunch; I'm not one of them but others are. The adults ate until they resembled the stuffed paper sack center pieces; the children pretended to eat until it was time to attack the dessert table.
The turkey cupcakes were gone in a flash and I noticed several of my pilgrim hats were gone. I was pleased until I noticed the kids who took them were gobbling down the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and tossing the cookie part.
Exactly fourteen minutes and ten seconds after the dessert onslaught, the sugar high hit and transformed the Pilgrim and Indian hat-wearing children into the Beasts. A re-enactment of Custer's Last Stand and every John Wayne Indian movie plus the entire Star Wars anthology was being staged on the gym floor. Pre-dessert sedate little Pilgrim girls were attempting to scalp Indians who were frantically making another pass at the now crownless Pilgrim hat cookies and any other dessert left on the table.
As the Thanksgiving Feast quickly morphed into the Thanksgiving Beast of Play, I sought out his teacher to see if I could take my beast home. Silly question! What kindergarten teacher in what's left of her right mind at this point would want to take a fructose supercharged five-year-old back to school and try to have class? "May I take my child home now?" I foolishly asked. His teacher stared at me blankly, and from somewhere deep in the abyss where an intelligent mind once thrived and actually took classes to become a kindergarten teacher came a raspy "Pleeeeeeease!" "Do I have to sign him out?" I queried. "Nooooooo, just goooooooo!" she whispered glassy eyed.
I loaded my "beast" into the car situating him in the back seat where I could utilize two seatbelt buckles to try and keep him from becoming airborne during the ride home. When we arrived home, I sent him immediately out to the trampoline with the hope that he didn't launch himself onto the roof. "How did you like our Thanksgiving Feast?" he yelled on the way up…or down…or both. "Well, I sure heard a lot of thanks being given as we left." I honestly said. "Yeah, it was a great Thanksgiving Feast," he bounced.
I would have sworn I heard him say "Yeah, I was great Thanksgiving beast." Either way, it was and he is!