Attitude of Gratitude

A few people on my Facebook newsfeed have been posting things they are grateful for – one each day – in anticipation of Thanksgiving. It is a nice change from the constant political updates and seems appropriate in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to focus on the positive. Most of us are so lucky, and have so much, when compared with 90% of the world.

I have decided that instead of posting what I am grateful for on Facebook, I will write it down here. I am secretly hoping that it will help me write more often. But, because I am me, and I am busy, I am already a day behind. So today will be double-gratitude.

November 1: I am grateful for my sister. She and I are 11 months apart, and we have not always gotten along. Beginning in our teen years, we finally did get along. When we were in our early 20's she went through some things that were heartbreaking and sad and ugly and hard. On her. On our family. On all of us. And I thought for a long time I might never have a sister – not the way I wanted, not the way we talked about when we were teenagers.

And then she came back. And we accidentally (her) on purpose (me) had kids at the same time. Very recently, she met someone and it seems like it is going in a good direction. My fingers and my toes and everything in between are crossed hoping for this person to be her person. She deserves it, trust me. (And someday, I think maybe we will write a book about all the people who were not her person and why Internet dating – while often successful in the long run – can be so, so sketchy.)

So yesterday we went to Target with A to update a few necessary wardrobe items (yeah, we're fancy Target shoppers) and wander aimlessly up and down the aisles. It occurred to me afterward, "that was nice. I am glad we are able to do that. Because there was a time, once, when I thought we never would."

November 2: I am grateful for my dad. My dad is thoughtful in little ways that make a big difference. He realized recently that he spends a lot of one-on-one time with my nephew, and he has been spending some time with just A and I while the boys are at school, but he never spends any one-on-one time with T.

Today he took T out to breakfast, then to the fire station*, then to Target to pick out a toy. T had a great time, but I think the gesture meant way more to me than it did to him. It is never easy to balance things when you have multiple children or grandchildren, and because of complicated family dynamics things don't always feel like they are coming out even.

So today, I am grateful to my dad for realizing that and making an effort to get to know my kid better.

* The trip to the fire station, while fun as a standalone, was really to make up for my shortcomings as a mother. A few Fridays ago, a fire truck came to T's school and even though he doesn't go on Fridays I said I would bring him to school to see it. But first we had to run errands, and T and A threw a stage 5 tantrum in the checkout line at Target (seriously, a woman suggested that I go home and drink wine. It was 10:45 am.), and we were four minutes late. And the firemen were ten minutes early. Which meant that we missed the freaking firetruck. Worst. Mama. Ever.

More tomorrow. And the day after that. And so on until Thanksgiving. HOPEFULLY.

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