Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Giving of Thanks

On this day in which our nation celebrates thankfulness and all the blessings in our lives, my heart is filled with so much gratitude. And yet, I know that even as I try to express my thanks for all the goodness in my life, words will fail me and cliches will abound. Nevertheless--

I am so grateful for my husband, who is truly my other half. I have loved him for 10 years, which feels like both a lifetime and just the beginning of forever. I am grateful that in our marriage, we have had far more " for betters" and "in health" than "for worse"or "in sickness." I do not know what I would do without my Jeff.

I am grateful for our amazing and beautiful and lovely children. I never knew I could love another human being as much until I had them. I am grateful for the unparalleled joy they bring to our lives, the feeling of purpose and direction they have provided us. I am grateful for what I am able to teach them, and what they are able to teach me. I am grateful that they are so healthy, happy, vibrant, boisterous, creative, kind, compassionate, generous, loving, and downright adorable.

I am grateful for our families, those who live nearby and those far-flung. I am grateful for my parents who live so close by, who support us and our children in more ways than they can possibly know. Our family covers every region of the country, from California to Wisconsin to New England to Virginia to Missouri to Illinois to Michigan to New Mexico. I am grateful for the newest additions, my niece Uli and my nephew Julian, plus my other terrific nephew, Hugo. I am grateful that our children have so many people who love them - grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, great-aunts, cousins, second cousins, and also the dear friends who love our children and who have become like family to us.

I am grateful for my friends, many of whom have children of their own who act as my sounding board, who provide guidance and direction in parenting, either by tacit example or by loud shouts of "don't do that!" or "yes of course!" I am so grateful for my playgroup - we started out as women who got together for our children's sake and have turned into lifelong friends.... (you know, the kind who we'll be with in 15 or 20 years and regale our horrified children with THE most embarrassing kid stories...)

I am grateful for our church community, who supports us even as we struggle and who provide a foundation upon which we can grow our family in faith. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my voice in the choir and my song on the flute, and for the music director and her husband who make it such a pleasure.

I am grateful for Samantha, my homebound student, as well as the students at the Village School. The few hours I spend with them each week are a continuous reminder of my passion for teaching. I know that I will return to the classroom one day, and I will be a finer teacher because of the experiences I have had with them.

I am grateful for our house. In the current financial, economic, and housing crises, I feel most grateful for our home. I feel so fortunate to have a home that is safe, that I love, and that is ours (okay, 6/30ths of it is ours...)

I am grateful for opportunities. I am so grateful for the education Jeff is receiving in preparation for being a nurse, and for my opportunity to pursue a master's degree. I am grateful for the opportunity to dream beyond....

I am so grateful. Even in the daily struggles, the ups and downs of life, the tears of frustration and pain, life is so good. I am keenly aware of the many blessings we enjoy. I am so grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving, indeed!

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