This is the time of year when we’re supposed to stop and count our blessings. As parents, we know better. Most of us pause several times daily, thankful for every little thing we have.
In honor of this holiday, I’ll tell you some of the many things I am thankful for.
My husband. My partner in the perils of parenthood. I can’t count how many times he has walked in on the tail end of a flaming tantrum after work, and instead of walking out the door, he takes it like a man, often the hero of the hour. “Daddy!” All is often suddenly good with the world. He does the dishes, then plays with the kids for an hour before bed. No computer, no cell phone. Real quality time with his family, whatever the night may bring us. I am grateful for this man.
I am thankful for the two spirited, smiling beings who have stolen an incalculable amount of sleep from my life and nearly every inch of freedom with their demands and the insane amount of thought I feel compelled to give them. My kids, who from day one have been harder to figure out than any math class I have squirmed through, have upended my life so incredibly that if I really knew what having kids was about, I may have never wanted to have children in the first place. The rewards: Just hearing the word Mom is good for me.
As a mom, I’ve wished away many fevers, cuddled sick babies, and worked myself into a frenzy over the countless horrible diagnoses I’ve given my children from the Internet. I’m thankful that my children are healthy.
I’m secretly grateful for hurts only cured by Mommy’s hugs, books that are better read by Mom, and unexpected hugs. When my kids give me their worst, it’s these little things that get me through. I am grateful for every one of them.
I am so incredibly thankful for friends who can relate, who can laugh at our misery, and who don’t even flinch when I tell them we’ve just infected them all with strep.
I am thankful for the food we eat, the meals I slave over that the kids sometimes stick up their noses at and squirm in their chairs over and make an otherwise lovely meal unbearable.
Our home, though often cluttered and never glamorous, keeps us warm, comfortable, and safe. It is filled with love and silliness and often more dirt than I can keep up with. But I am ever so grateful.
I’m thankful for laughter. We make time together as a family. We play together. We eat together. We do so much together that we drive one another crazy, but we can always make each other laugh. It’s the unexpected that keeps us going, like when my husband tries to lick the cinnamon roll icing off his plate without being caught or jumps in the car and locks it during a rollicking game of tag. (Well played.) Or the many moments when the kids say something so out of the blue, there is no other choice but to laugh, no matter how inappropriate.
I’m grateful for family. We don’t have any family nearby, but emails and phone calls keep us connected until we can meet in person and remind each other of why we’re all so crazy. Darn those blood lines.
Being a mom has been so much more challenging and sometimes more painful than I ever imagined. I honestly thought it would be a breeze. Then I realized you can’t mold people. They’re already who they are and you have to learn to deal with their idiosyncrasies from the start. But I’m grateful that every day is new, my kids don’t hold grudges, we forgive, and we love.