Monday, November 19, 2012

Thinking Thankfully

Another Thanksgiving is rounding the corner once more, giving us all another chance to be still for a moment and reflect. To think. To thank. Together.

At our house, as I've already mentioned, Turkey Tom shares real estate with Saint Nick and manger scenes, but we appreciate him nonetheless.

This thoughtfulness in mind, I asked the girls today what they were thankful for.

Caedance is thankful for our dinners--be they large or small, well planned out and presented with care, or thrown somewhat haphazardly on the plate a la Hectic Mom, whether eaten at the table with family, or picnic style on the floor with a family movie. She's thankful for them. She appreciates them, and is aware that not every one has the blessing of knowing a meal is coming every evening.

"I'm actually quite thankful for what we have for dinner every night, Mother. I feel bad for those who don't have that."

I love her heart.

Last week we visited a local food bank and took a tour around the huge facility, hearing about their programs and how they help our community every day of the year. Both girls are eager to volunteer and do what they can to help out.

Ashlyn is thankful for her family. "I love the fun we have together, Mama. I love that you all take care of me and make sure I'm okay. I love that you love me. I love you."

Did you read that first line? She has fun when we're together. All of us. The weight of those words is precious to me. How many times have I been tempted to get a few more loads of laundry folded, or wash some more dishes, or put some stuff away, rather than sit and be engaged in whatever activity we were doing? The pull of those Adult Responsibilities can be strong and hard to ignore; there is always something else that needs to be done. Urgently. But I try, I really do, to stay those whispers of work left undone to just sit in the moment and be with my family. Playing  game. Watching a movie. Reading a book. Talking. I try to be part of whatever present we are in rather than bowing out to my To Do list.

And she sees that. They both see that. That sentence is proof that my children see this sacrifice, this giving of my undivided time and appreciate it. And they have FUN when we're together.

I love that. Very much.

As for me, well, I'm thankful for each of them. Their differences make them as unique as their similarities do. I have been blessed by the good days of raising and schooling them, and the tough days as well. There is always something to learn when you're around kids all day. They are a mirror held up to my face, pointing out my own strengths and weaknesses and giving me an opportunity to either grow and flourish, or stay the same and wither.

This may seem cliche', but they make me a better person in every way imaginable.

And I am thankful for that too.

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