Huck is a rare soul among our extended mouthy Irish family; he's a man of few words.
As a little guy, he talked late, not saying much until he was about three years old. There wasn't much need for him to talk; with a big sister like Becky to do the non-stop chattering for him, all he had to do was play happily and wait patiently for his sippy cup to appear, for the TV channel to be changed, or for mom to put his shoes on for a trip to the park.
There was one word that Huck did learn before he was two and knew how to say quite clearly amidst the babble of his toddler patois:
That this word would be one of the first words he quickly understood and used did not surprise me; as a baby, Huck was almost nine lbs at birth and grew to be the size of an average two year old (height and weight) by the time he was just one year old. From day one of his life, eating was something Huck did often, did well, and did (and still does) with much gusto.
One night when he was two, I woke up to the sound of that word coming from his room. I checked my clock; it was somewhere well past o'dark-thirty and I was a very tired and a very pregnant mom.
I heaved out of bed, headed to his room, and turned the light on. Sure enough, there he sat in his toddler bed in his footie PJ's, the cowlicks of his hair sticking up every which way.
"Hungry," he repeated.
Down we went to the kitchen, he and I, and I fixed him a big plate of leftovers from dinner. One of the dogs (the two original members of the insane canine posse) had followed me down; I figured what Huck didn't eat could get scraped into her bowl.
I remember sitting there, sleepy, watching him, my mind rolling over the long list of worries Knute and I had knocking on our door in fall of 2005. The new baby coming. Searching for a new job for Knute. The reality that we would probably have to sell our house and move again when he did find a job.
But what I remember most from that night was simply looking at my little boy, my little giant of a boy, and feeling thankful.
Thankful that he was so hale and hearty.
Thankful that we were tucked inside a warm house on a cold November night.
Thankful that we had an abundance of food to feed my hungry little guy.
Thankful that all I had to do in that moment to make things right in his world was to feed him well.
Thanksgiving is near - do you have a thankful moment or memory that feeds your soul?