Being thankful

Close to a year ago, when we first moved into our current home, we finally had enough space to have a real, grown up, dedicated dining room. (Who am I kidding, regardless that I'm just a few months shy of turning 30, very few things in my life are truly "grown up.")

We barely had the dishes unpacked before we started sitting down to dinner as a family. And because we closed on our first home EVER the day before Thanksgiving, we spent our actual holiday eating cold stuffing and some variety of Tofurky while sitting on the dirty kitchen floor of the house we were leaving behind.

We had so so so much to be thankful for, but we couldn't find the time to really BE thankful. We were busy sticking all those things we were thankful for into boxes, taping them up and then moving them around. And so even though it's not Thanksgiving, we have a habit of ending our day by talking about everything we're thankful for.

Before I settled into bed tonight, my daughter cozied into my arm and told me how thankful she was to get to snuggle with me at bedtime. And suddenly, those few nights a week I moan and groan because she should be spending far more nights in her OWN bed and not in the "big bed" (aka, my husband and I's king-size bed that is usually inhabited by one of our offspring or a furball more than it's not), they didn't seem to matter. Because it's not going to be like this forever. She's not going to want to snuggle with me forever.

As we huddled under the covers, she asked me what I was thankful for. I paused for a moment as I recalled the events over the past week; it was certainly a trying one. It wasn't hard to nail down the culprit, but it was the compilation of lots of little things that made everything seem bigger than it had to be. So I told her I was thankful for our family. For her daddy, her bubby, our fur babies and of course, her.

And she sat up, grabbed my face and told me she was thankful for her family too. But that wasn't all. She was thankful for everyone in her whole WORLD.

I asked her what she meant by her whole world and she looked at me quizzically. How could I NOT know who her whole world was. So she told me. It meant all her memaws and papaws, her aunts, uncles and cousins, Kara (our phenomenal high school babysitter), Kenzie and Gavin (oh and of course their mommy and daddy too) and all the people at her school, all the people who help her at gymnastics and mommy's best friend Chelle who came to visit (because she makes mommy smile a lot).

Isn't it amazing how something so simple and easy to a preschooler can be so much deeper to you? I started to realize how thankful I should be for the people in MY world, rather than bogged down with the anxiety some things might bring. Being a mother and wife is difficult, but they're also the two roles that keep my world spinning. And they've made me so much closer to the other people in my world. I have such a large, wonderful world of people. From my own family to my work "family," I need these people in my day-to-day life. Not just to get tasks done or for babysitting, but because they fill a little piece of my world. And my girlfriends, they're so, so, so much a part of my world that without them I'm not sure it would remain spinning. And surprisingly, the group of girls I'm blessed to coach. Sure, I want to pull my hair out from time to time because they can't seem to see the amazing talent they have, but you know what? They keep me young. And they make me laugh. And they keep me on my toes. In the best possible way.

Our worlds are made up of so much more than just jobs, houses, bills or things that we have to do. The more diverse and big and welcome we make our world, the more amazing things we'll have to be thankful for.

Or at least, that's what my daughter seems to think. And I can't help but wonder if she's the teacher and I'm the one who should be learning.

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  1. Isnt it crazy how simple kids can make the bigger picture? Such a blessing

  2. Discovered your blog a couple of days ago and have really enjoyed your posts. As a vegetarian mom of a vegetarian 3 year old (in a family of carnivores) it is really nice to hear someone else's voice validating so much of what I feel about parenting, vegetarianism and the world in general. Can't wait to try some recipes!

  3. This post made me smile and give my daughter a hug, Thank Youl