Let today happen

Parents, while your kids are still in the house, you don’t have to wonder if you’ll all be sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner together. Whether you’re at your home table or visiting far-flung family members, your kids are along for the Thanksgiving ride.

Today is a good day to remember that it won’t always be that way.

Soon, your kids will be in college. Then they’ll be starting their lives, with jobs and priorities and families of their own. Watching them do those things can and should be a joyful parenting period of your own—especially the Thanksgivings when you’ll all be together! But turkey (or tofu) time together won’t necessarily be an annual guarantee. That’s why it’s so important to enjoy what you have together today.

You might be tempted to let the college application process invade your Thanksgiving. It’s not easy to shut off what might have been daily conversations about essays and applications and SAT scores. But those topics and to-do’s won’t disappear if you ignore them for one day. No student in the history of the college admissions process has been shut out of a college because their family declared Thanksgiving college-talk-free.

Parents, give yourselves and your kids a break today. Take a breath and appreciate your guaranteed Thanksgiving time together while you have it. As high school counselor Patrick O’Connor said so eloquently in his recent piece, “What you can — and can’t — say to a high school senior at Thanksgiving”:

“College will be great, but college is tomorrow, and Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude for today. Let that happen.”