18 Nov
Posted in: parenting
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Not Looking Over Thanksgiving

Pumpkin turkey handprint Thanksgiving

We’re not looking over Thanksgiving at our house. It’s overshadowed by Halloween and Christmas…the mother of all holidays. We’ll openly inquire about what costumes our children are wearing or what presents we’re buying, but no one stands in line at pickup time asking each other what they’re thankful for. Being thankful is such an important concept to instill in our children, one that seems to be lost in the talk of who has what or what we want or how unfair our situation seems to be.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward

B, a fifth grader, was complaining this morning about how tedious learning the capitals of all 50 states is. I asked him how he could see it as a blessing. His answer, “Lots of people want to live here. At least, I was born somewhere free.” It may have been said with a little grumbling in his tone, but he got the message. I want this idea of being thankful not to be contained in November or wrapped up in the quick answers for thankful: food, home, family. I want my family to sense it in the everyday…be blessed in the moment…be grateful through it all.

Top on my list to be thankful for today is the slowing down of life. We’re still busy and maybe busier still than we should be, but we have more time together than we did a few weeks ago. I feel us, at times, being swallowed whole by activities and commitments. I am abundantly thankful for the times it feels easier to breathe. We don’t have family that live near us. There is no village. If something needs to be done, there are only two of us to do it. I dream of what life would be like with sporting events with more than just us cheering on the kiddos, concerts with more than just us there, Sunday dinners with grandparents and regular date nights for Craig and I. It would be easy to dismiss this like learning the state capitals, nothing but a tedious burden. I choose to see our lack of family as a blessing. My family of 6 is one close-knit unit and what a blessing that is.

sand art turkey ThanksgivingI’m beyond blessed to be the mama of four beautiful children. This life has given me more than I could have ever asked for myself with all the goodness I’ve experienced, and taught me much about myself and others through all the rough valleys. These children I adore also adore each other. They are each other’s best friends. They have their own inside jokes, games only they know the rules for. They miss each other when they’re apart. They love each other in a way I didn’t dream was possible and for that I am eternally grateful.

A few other things I’m thankful for today, the rustling of dried leaves, sleeping in (even if I did miss a workout), drinking my morning coffee while it was still hot, being able to walk my kiddos to school, texting (this could very well be a non-blessing tomorrow), working from home and snuggling on the couch reading to A before her nap. I’ll add to that list: a little one that still naps.

For us, Thanksgiving is more than an over-sized meal and deserves more than talk about how to cook a turkey and what pie to make.

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