When I was a kid, Thanksgiving usually meant a large gathering of extended family, a spirited game of backyard football and a perennial seat at the “kids’ table” well into my teenage years.

As the youngest kids in a large farm family, my brother and I sat at a card table and folding chairs squeezed into a corner of the kitchen while our older siblings and other guests occupied the main table with our parents.

The truth is, it wasn’t a bad place to be even though we were typically at the end of the line when the turkey and desserts were passed around.

For starters, we got to decide which dishes we kept on our table and which ones got passed back to the main table, which meant we were able to enjoy second helpings of our favorite foods before anyone else got them ­— allowing us to send back the green beans and keep the whipped-cream-covered fruit salad.

It also meant that while the adults were engaged in grown-up conversations, we were talking about more fun topics like dividing up teams for the annual backyard football game or using our forks to make train tracks in our mashed potatoes or building a dam to keep the cranberry sauce from seeping all the way across the plate.

Now that I’m at the grown-up table, there’s no shortage of serious topics that could come up during Thanksgiving dinner. But this year, I’m going to try to set all of those worries aside for a few hours and enjoy togetherness with my family, talking football and being thankful for all of our blessings.