I broke the law once. At least, I think I did.
When I was little, I had an odd obsession with the pilgrims. I read every book in our library. I made paper Mayflower ships. I did it all. When I was nine years old, our family took a road trip to Massachusetts, where we got to see Plymouth Rock. I remember the way my stomach did a flip flop as my Dad drove our minivan into the parking lot. I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. I was looking out into the shoreline that the pilgrims had come from so many years before. I looked down at that rock, wondering if they really did touch it, and a thousand images flashed through my mind. I played everything I had learned out in my head and soaked it in. I was the happiest girl alive that day.
Later that day, we went to a museum that held a small slab of the rock. There were signs all around it that read “do not touch” and being the law abiding first born that I am, I abided by them. For awhile.
As we were getting ready to leave, I told my parents I needed to use the restroom. They let me go back on my own, and as I did, I passed that display of the rock slab. It was too much for me. I looked around to make sure no one was looking, and I rubbed all over that rock. I figured, if I touched the whole thing I was probably touching a part of it that the pilgrims had, and that was thrilled my nerdy heart.
It was years before I confessed to my parents what I did. I sometimes think about whoever was watching security tapes that day. I’m sure they were perplexed by the girl in pigtails and a Lands End dress rubbing all over a rock. Looking back, I’m pretty perplexed myself.
I’m less obsessed and awkward (I hope) but I’m still very thankful for the pilgrims. I’m thankful that they came here to worship freely. I’m thankful for the legacy they left. I’m thankful for their stories of perseverance, kindness, and faithfulness. I’m thankful for the impact their story left on my little girl heart.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends. May your day be filled with gratitude, joy, and memories that make you smile.