Does anyone else dread that moment at the holiday table when we’re supposed to hold hands and share what we are most thankful for? I always feel a brick in my stomach at this request; really, there are only two appropriate answers to the question: “I am thankful for family and friends” and “I am thankful for healthy family and friends.”

I am actually thankful for those things, but how many times can you repeat those phrases before they sound hollow? I really am a grateful person, it’s just that the things that I am truly thankful for might be inappropriate for the family table.

But I’m guessing they’re wildly appropriate here. So go ahead, take my hand. . .

I am thankful that the weather finally frickin’ changed in Dallas. Enough with the 90 degrees in October. What in the wide, wide world of sports is that all about?? Granted, I am not from here, but honestly, who in their right mind would want to be with this nonsense? I mean, how can you get excited for Halloween and apple cider when the pumpkin is black and attracting flies, and the cider makes you sweat? Don’t even get me started on football games and raking leaves. . . Thank heaven for 60 degrees in Dallas. I’m pushing for 40. . .

I am thankful for my persistent neighbor up the street. This is a woman who calls me constantly because she knows I won’t call her. She tells me about her day, and pokes until I tell her about mine. She listens to all my concerns about nap schedules and runny noses, and she spends oodles of time finding solutions with me. I love this gal for not leaving me alone — pester away, my friend!

I am thankful for the internet. I am one of many, many stay-at-home mothers who get to also have a fulfilling career because of all the work I can get done at night. In fact, the internet really has redefined “stay-at-home.” Plus, isn’t it amazing to be able to buy baby clothes and bras at 2 in the morning?

I am thankful for microwaves. How else could I prepare my daughter nutritious food that I’ve cooked and frozen, only to have to spend hours defrosting and reheating it? I’m a convenience girl, and these magic boxes allow me to give my little one homemade food, quickly. If you find out that microwaves are bad for me, I’m not sure I want to know.

I am thankful for a pediatrician who answers her cell phone. Nuff said.

And speaking of cell phones, I am thankful for them too. Boy, they are really good in an emergency, aren’t they? Nothing soothes a fussy baby like some free time on Mommy’s cell…

And finally, I am thankful for my sweet baby girl. She has been so kind to her freshman mother, sleeping well and smiling most of the time. She has even taken to asking me for a nap when she’s tired. Lest you begin pelting me with tomatoes the next time you see me at the grocery, please understand that this has nothing to do with parenting skills or even genetics — both her father and I were “I-hope-I-see-the-day-when-you-have-a-child-JUST-LIKE-YOU” babies. My daughter is a small miracle, and I’m thankful for her every day. And I suppose I’m thankful that life ain’t always fair. (I know, I know… watch out for the second child!)

Let’s raise a glass to the strange world of motherhood in which many of us live. Cheers to you. And when asked what you’re thankful for this holiday season, we’ll know that when you say, “I’m thankful for happiness and health” what you really mean is “God bless martinis.”