Things I'm Thankful For
I just read a blog about things that Rocks No Salt was thankful for and decided I'd write one. This year is my first born's senior year in high school and I've been very nostalgic, sappy, sad, etc. for months now. There is also a HUGE poster in the living room (that's where my blogging desk is...no where else to put it) from my younger son's bar mitzvah and it has a collage of photos through the years. I see this poster EVERY time I look up from my writing, which is a lot, and it brings on more sap...so, here goes.
I'm thankful for:
...my older son taking on the role of mentor for his younger brother. My sons went through loads of times over the years when the younger one wanted so badly to play with the older one and it was just not going to happen. Now it's different. The older one is still an old soul needing to grow into his brain, but now they talk about things, just the two of them. My husband and I aren't part of these conversations and I'm glad. I want them to have special things that are just between them, and now they do. Sometimes they talk aboutfantasy football, sometimes it's a You Tube video, and other times I'll hear murmurs of them talking about us, and that's okay. "Turn about's fair play" and all of that.
...the years that I've been with my husband. I met my husband 32 years ago. I was 17 and he was 20 and we were working at a summer camp in the Ozarks. We married 8 1/2 years later and have, as occurs in any marriage, been through ups and downs and round-and- rounds. My husband has taught me about real compassion for people. He also taught me to appreciate the nuances of child-hood and how to nurture and value a child's spirit. I recall being 34 and thinking about how half of my entire life was spent with Steve. Now I'm 14 years past that and when I think about my life's events, it's almost always the events with him, not before I met him, that come to mind.
...the ability to sit back and have some vision with parenting. Remember that first thing I was thankful for? While I'm writing this, my boys are watching an episode of "The Office" (that they've probably seen four times) in the other room. I can hear them, I just can't see them. Years ago I would have never done this as I was sure the moment I walked out of the room, the house would blow up. I can hear them laughing at the show, and then, for no reason I can determine, I hear the following. "You're just being a ****." "No, you're the one who's being a ****." Not so many years ago I'd be the crazed parent running into the room to solve what seemed to be a huge problem carving an unrepairable crevasse into their sibling relationship...Now I just chuckle (very quietly) to myself knowing that it will pass and is no big deal at all. They are still brothers and (probably) no blood has been shed.
...my youngest making me laugh. My younger son has always been able to make me laugh and he knows it. He shows me things on his phone and tells me stupid jokes because he knows what my reaction will be. He knows what I'll laugh at and how I'll love the cute and silly animal photos the most. This occurs at least once a day, but on the days when I'm a bit down he notices and gives an extra effort. I always appreciate that and I tell him. I was always able to do this with my mom, and I tell him that, too.
...my parents. For some of you out there, this one may come as a surprise. I have often said that my parents weren't the best. They weren't. They both came from homes where love wasn't demonstrated and my dad was 48 when his fifth child was born. That child was me and he was tired. My mom was limited with the types of advice she could give, but she was also the one who baked with me, drew with me, SHOPPED with me, skated with me and swam with me. She began volunteering at the local high school when my sister (the oldest of the five) started high school and continued to volunteer, as promised, until I graduated--that meant a LOT of volunteer years! In the end, I was able to care for her like she cared for me.
...the opportunity to watch my sons play basketball. Both boys play basketball almost 365 days a year and are playing "fall ball" now. I LOVE watching them play because I know they love playing. Although I have watched hundreds of games by now, all over the country, I still don't get all of the rules and don't notice all of the fouls, but I don't care. I'm there to watch them do what they like to do. It's probably better this way because I can't yell at the refs.
...stopping to smell the roses. I really do this. Regardless of where I am, inside or out, if I see a rose, I stop whatever I'm doing, go over and smell it. Lots of times the roses I smell are in a grocery store, but I don't mind. Taking a moment to breathe in the scent of a rose is a tiny present I give myself.
I know the original blog was for 10 things I'm thankful for, but it's time to go watch my son's basketball game, so I'm cutting it short at seven. I hopeful (and thankful!) that you'll understand.