I once had an idea to write a book called “A Year of Ungratitude.” You read that right. I said UN-gratitude. It was just after 9-11, we were living in Brooklyn, everything was scary and kind of sucked, and I was one pessimistic chick. That book idea (as well as many others…another topic for another day) never happened. This was partly (mostly?) because I never wrote more than a few pages, and mostly (partly?) because cynicism is exhausting.
Thank goodness that book never happened, and thank goodness I discovered my inner Grateful Mama! In honor of Thanksgiving 2012, here are a few things for which I’m grateful (in no special order…and besides all the obvious stuff like family, friends, good health, blah blah):
I’m grateful for school uniforms. I never thought I’d say that. I’m definitely a freedom of expression kind of gal, but uniforms are so easy and neat (and adorable). I can’t wait to get Riley in one.
I’m grateful that Riley sleeps in his own bed…occasionally. When he doesn’t sleep in his bed, I’m grateful when he focuses his flailing arms and legs on Mike.
I’m grateful that the October lice outbreak at school spared our family (this time).
I’m grateful for a clean colon. On second thought, perhaps clean isn’t the best adjective. How about this: I’m grateful for a colon clear of polyps. With five years until my next colonoscopy, I can focus my energy on old and new medical mysteries like the numbness in my left ankle (still there!), my slightly swollen thyroid for which I’m having an ultrasound tomorrow morning (fun!), and my low platelet count (blood test results coming soon to a theater near you!).
I’m grateful for the Green Dream smoothie at Whole Foods. I’m also grateful that I’ve trained myself to simultaneously swipe my credit card and look the other way when it’s time to pay for it. Isn’t good health worth $6.99 plus tax? (You latte sipping and Frappuccino slurping addicts have no idea what expensive is.)
I’m grateful for the glorious Florida “winter,” which enables me to run with ease…which makes it okay for me to eat sweet potato fries…and helps me relieve stress…and allows me to maintain my sanity (sorta) during the madness of the holidays…and keeps me out of the mall (mostly)…and makes me sleep like a %&*$# baby (slightly less so when Riley’s extremities are within striking distance).
I’m grateful that people read my blog. Seriously. I’ll never take it for granted that I write stuff that people relate to or think is funny.
I’m grateful for my husband who leaves me sweet and silly notes above the coffee maker on the mornings when he wakes up crazy early to go to work so he can come home in time to play with the kids for an hour before they go to sleep. This, my friends, is romance for the married-ten-plus-years-with-children-and-pets set. No, really, it is romantic. I look forward to these notes. I expect these notes. (Did you hear that, honey? If you stop writing these notes, I’ll be pissed.)
I’m grateful that in 27 days I’ll be setting sail toward the Caribbean with a cocktail in one hand and my husband’s hand in the other. (Either that or a second cocktail because there ain’t nothin’ wrong with double-fisting on the first night of a vacay sans kids.) I’ll be giddy about the voyage ahead, and I’ll miss my boys like crazy before the ship even leaves the port, but I need to miss my boys. I really need the chance to miss them. I need to miss them badly so I can know how deeply and strongly I love them. That, and I need to rest up to survive their (long) two-week winter break from school that starts as soon as we get back.
I’m grateful for writing inspiration from smart, funny, and creative women, including Tina Fey (Bossypants) and Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?), both of whom wrote books that I started and actually finished this year. No small feat!
I’m grateful for Dylan’s perfect attendance record in Kindergarten (so far). This early (and insignificant) achievement probably won’t get him into Harvard (although it reflects an admirable and distinctive sense of responsibility, dedication, and punctuality), but if you look deeper into the numbers, you’ll discover (1) a kid who likes school enough not to con his Mama into staying home by employing the use of a fake cough or over-exaggerated sneeze, and (2) a Mama who gets her kid up, fed, brushed, fluffed, dressed, and at school on time every single day.
I’m grateful for Riley’s giggle and his mean face, and I’m grateful he knows the definition of hypothesis: “an idea that you can test.” While we’re on the subject, I’m grateful for “Dinosaur Train” and every other television show that’s turned my kids into TV zombies and simultaneously taught them sophisticated vocabulary words, Spanish, and how to count in multiples of ten.
I could go on (and on and on), but I’d much rather hear about what you’re grateful for this year. Share your thoughts in the comments section…I’ll be grateful if you do!