I have been a parent for nearly fourteen years, but without being aware of it, my preparation to be a parent began the moment I, myself, came into this world. So, even though I know that being a parent for fourteen years sometimes feels like a long time, it really is just a drop in the proverbial bucket. I have learned more from my two daughters than I have taught them, and one lesson that I have learned from these two beautiful souls is one of gratitude.
Of everyone and everything I give thanks for, my two daughters give me reason to give thanks every single day, yet I don’t always do so. There was a five-year period when I struggled with infertility issues and wondered if I ever would be a parent, and once I finally held my first daughter in my arms, I couldn’t imagine ever taking her or my new role as her mother for granted. Then, what I couldn’t imagine became a reality, as the day-to-day demands of parenting and life in general took over.
As the years continue to pass by in the blink of an eye, it has been easy to lose myself in whatever stage of life my daughters and I are in at the time, as I try to shepherd us through it happily and relatively unscathed. Like every parent, though, at points along the way, in the midst of the hustle and bustle, I have forgotten to pause and give thanks for my children and for the honor and privilege of being their mom. Thankfully, I was able to hit the pause button today.
A little while ago, my daughters and I were nestled together on our couch, on what has been a slow-paced Sunday afternoon. As we relaxed together, I felt like a Ping-Pong ball, as I was caught in the crossfire of their chatter and giggles, and I suddenly was overwhelmed with feelings of immense gratitude. When looked at through the lens of gratitude, even the most ordinary events and tasks began to take on new meaning:
- I am thankful for my daughters’ laundry, because they are indicators that they are not afraid to get their hands dirty at home and at school.
- I am thankful for the dust, dirt, and debris that my daughters track through our home, because it means that they while they may go out to explore the world, they always come back home.
- I am thankful for their marathon gab sessions, because they want to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas with me and to listen to my feedback.
- I am thankful that my daughters laugh loudly . . . a lot, because it reassures me that they are happy and is contagious. I am thankful that my daughters are complimented for their kindness, because it means that they are making this world better and brighter.
- I am thankful for the good days, the challenging days, the exciting days, the boring days, the healthy days, the sick days, and every other kind of day that exists, because my daughters are alive and well to enjoy them with me.
I have much to be grateful for indeed, and I am so glad that a random moment reignited my appreciation for being my daughters’ mom. Last night, my oldest daughter and I were on way to dinner together, and out-of-the-blue, she remarked, “Some of my friends don’t like to hang out with their moms any more, but I still like to spend time with you, Mom”. The feeling is mutual, and that is yet one more thing I am giving thanks for today and every day.
Just one thing each day . . .