Tis the day we give Thanks for all of the things in our lives that make it better. The little things and the big ones. The ones that are celebrated on Hallmark cards, and the ones that more subtly fuel our souls. Earlier this week, I volunteered at my daughter’s Kindergarten class Thanksgiving party. One of the games I ran, was a rendition of Hot Potato, but with one of those really funky, alien-looking gourds, rather than the traditional potato. And instead of having to remove oneself from the circle if the music stopped while holding the gourd, the lucky kiddo had to state one thing they were thankful for this season. Mom, Dad, my dog, my Hot Wheels, pie, the occasional sibling….those were the chart toppers. But they all “got it”. What makes their lives better?
So, this got me thinking….as a morning spent in the Kindergarten classroom often does. What am I thankful for? Like, really, truly, without a doubt, thankful for. So here it is, one mama’s top 10 list of Things I am Thankful For this Season.
10) My kids’ Halloween candy – Yep, I’ll say it….there is a neat little pile of miniature candy wrappers sitting on the floor next to me as I type this. Don’t tell me you haven’t snuck a piece or 4 lately. Once a month has gone by, some of the allure is gone and the kiddos don’t miss it as much. Plus, it makes me happy and when I am happy, I am funnier….you’re welcome.
9) The “Terrible Threes” – In our house, the Terrible Twos were never a thing. Add another candle to that birthday cake, however, and all bets are off. My 3 year old little dude is currently in a phase where he walks in the door from wherever we have just been, immediately removes his pants, and proceeds to run outside to jump on the trampoline (remember, no pants), attempts to climb to the highest possible point he can in the house, and/or hides from and surprise tackles his 5 year old sister for no apparent reason (hint, she doesn’t love it). Rinse, wash, repeat. Ugh….some of you know what I mean. But then, right around 8pm, the magic happens. All that 3 year old craziness pays off in dividends for mama when the force of sheer exhaustion wins , and that crazy little sandy haired boy falls asleep in my lap. Then, and only then, is he still enough for me to smell his freshly bathed hair, stroke his soft, squish-worthy cheeks, and to whisper to him how very much I love him. Thank God for the Terrible Threes.
8) The dusty footprints that forever plague my floors – OK, that’s a lie. I actually I hate them….I really do. But, I adore the reason they are there. They are there because I have two happy, healthy children who love to run, jump and play outside in the dirt. They pretend. They imagine. They create. The discover. They run inside with questions and bring a little bit of nature with them. And while the dust is a constant reminder of the chores left to do, it is also a reminder of the beautiful house we are working to make our home. Dirt is a good thing…and so is a Roomba. Just Sayin.
7) This wicked blister on my heel – Because I had someplace to go and a pair of new shoes to wear when I went. Consequently, I am also thankful for Band-aids.
6) Wine – Yep.
5) Caffeine – See above.
4) The graham cracker crumbs and rock-hard, dirt covered fruit snacks in my back seat – B.C. (you know, Before Children), I swore I would never have a “mom car.” You know the one….the minivan with the stick figure family on the back window…..and guess what? I still don’t!! No mini-vans here (yes, yes, I am aware of how convenient they are when loading and unloading kids) and those stick figure families? Drive. Me. Crazy. but alas, to each his own. What I do rock these days, is the back seat full of snack remains. Some are pretty darn old and mixed with a little bit of dog hair….gross, I know. But they serve as a reminder of all the adventures I get to go on with my littles. A roadtrip to the beach here. A visit to the zoo there. The daily drive to Kindergarten is there as well. And we can’t forget our weekly pilgrimage to Target. The ordinary and the not so ordinary. All fueled by snacks. And I am thankful for them all.
3) Dirty dishes in my sink – Because if there are dirty dishes in my sink, it means I recently shared a meal so grand that not all of the dishes would fit in my dishwasher. Most likely, I cooked most of it….which is awesome (honestly). And chances are there were people I love seated around the table (or under it….3 year olds are weird). My yoga pants are probably fitting a little tight, my face is probably sore from laughing, and certainly I have spilled something on my shirt. But life is good. Oh, and #6 probably made an appearance as well. Yep.
2) Real – Real smiles. Real love. Real food. Real friends. Real messes. Real wins. Real losses. Real life ya’ll. Nothing beats it.
1) This one time, at band camp...- That’s right. Because when geeky 14 year old girl toting a saxophone meets awkward 16 year old boy playing a trombone, who knows what might happen. They may go to prom. They may go their own ways for a bit. They may say “I Do”. They may get a dog….or three. They may produce 2 amazing-beyond-words children. They may build a house. They may consider getting chickens….they may. They may need to do a little more research on that last one. And maybe, just maybe, they may find their Happily Ever After. Band camp is a pretty amazing place. Don’t knock it till you try it people.
So there you have it. I am one thankful mama. For the good. For the bad. For the experiences. For the chance to be. And for not having to cook the entire Thanksgiving dinner this year. Thanks mom…..I love ya!
Cheers, and Happy Thanksgiving ya’ll!
Photo courtesy of Dream Photography Studio