…and a time to give thanks

I was up by 5:30 this morning with my two youngest.  Not only does this mean a tired grumpy mama, but also a tired grumpy mama who had to miss her morning walk with a friend (much-needed adult conversation) and the return to a house of sleeping children (much-needed peace). 

I proceeded with the usual routine of getting the boys their “strawberry” (strawberry milk – blech!) and turning on their new favorite show, “Annoying Orange” (double-blech!).  And then shortly after 6 am, as I sat down to pout with my fresh cup of coffee, I was slammed…

…with conviction.

It’s 9/11. 

My perspective immediately changed.  This day was a tragedy.  (It still is for many.)  This day brings to mind many words:  confusing, overwhelming, saddening, maddening, shocking, heart-wrenching.  And also:  hope-filled, honoring, braving, rebuilding.  But the word that slammed me today was

Thankful.

It is so hard for me (for all of us?) to remember to be thankful.  Not a moment passes in my day where I shouldn’t be thankful.  Thankful for my next breath, for my shelter, for my family, for my everything. And so today:

I am thankful for the mundane:  the never-ending laundry, the diaper changes, the preparing of meals, the packing of lunches, the constant reproduction of dirty dishes in my sink, the school meeting, the soccer practice.

I am thankful for the little moments:  the extra-hard squeeze around my neck from my 2 yr. old; the 4 yr. old who wants to narrate his entire day to me as it’s happening;  the extra hug from my husband; my almost 12 yr. old actually agreeing with the clothing I suggest for her day.

I am thankful for the difficult:  the ”thing” no one else will pick up off the floor because it looks like it might be dog poop or perhaps an old jellybean; the nasty look from my 6 yr. old when he learns there is not time to play his DS before school; the cost of taking 5 children to the dentist.

There are some things that I am too “human” to be thankful for.  I will never be thankful for the suffering in this world, or Kate’s death, or the loss of a fellow soccer mom to breast cancer at only 38 yrs. old.  But I can be thankful for the lessons learned, the time we had with one another, and that hope and redemption can be found amongst the ashes and despair.

And just like that, the day has new meaning.  I wish I could hold onto this, this intangible thankfulness that slips from my grasp like my toddler running for the swings.  I want to put post-it notes on everything and everyone in my house, reminding me – “Be Thankful For This!” 

It’s just so easy to forget.  Thank goodness for grace…and remembering…and two little knuckleheads that wake their mama up too early.  I guess I can be thankful for that, too.

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