Sometimes, life really does take my breath away. I'm so lucky to have a loving family. There's no abuse here. We don't have massive quantities of debt hanging over our heads. We get to eat whatever we want because we don't have food allergies (M2's cholesterol problems really don't limit choices, so long as we practice moderation). We're healthy, the odd psychological issue not really counting when it comes to general health. The kids haven't experienced the sadness of losing a sibling, or a parent, or an aunt or uncle... or a grandparent... or even a great-grandparent, as the only one who passed after the birth of M1 lived in Australia. I don't think I had ever talked to her myself.
Sometimes I forget all these big things in my quest to take care of all the little niggly things that creep into my head at night and keep me awake for hours and occupy my days. I worry about my scheduling issues and how I'm going to survive another five months of racing across town twice a week to get M1 out of swim in time to pick up M2, and I forget how lucky I am to be able to afford swimming lessons AND private school AND violin lessons... AND the supplies for each... AND the gas and vehicle to shuttle the kids to and from all these things. I worry about the five loads of laundry and the grocery shopping and forget to be grateful about the clothes on our backs and the fact that I can afford to go grocery shopping without government assistance. I worry about health and the future of the kids and completely ignore the fact that I'm fortunate enough to afford medical insurance and M1's ADHD meds and doctor visits. I worry about what the kids watch on TV without remembering that we're lucky to have a TV and satellite coverage. I worry about socialization without being grateful for the friends that we already have, those wonderful folks who are here for our family whenever we need.
It's so easy to forget, isn't it?
I know this is more like a Thanksgiving post, but sometimes it irks me that people spend all November listing off all the things they're thankful for and then don't seem to bother for the rest of the year. This is particularly bad on Facebook, where the overflowing of gratitude is pervasive and obnoxious until November 20-whatever, and then it stops altogether.
But sometimes all these big things to be thankful for start to overwhelm me, because I can't even imagine how one person can be so lucky, and then I remember that many of my friends share my luck, at least in most aspects, and that thought overwhelms me, too... and then I begin to turn back in to my own family and think of all the other, littler things that I also have to be thankful for.
I'm thankful for my kids sitting on the porch, wrapped in an afghan made by my grandmother - their great-grandmother - reading library books while Oz sands down the porch trim so I can give it a fresh coat of paint.
I'm thankful that we have a warm house decorated (mostly) the way I want, with cozy, comfortable couches and delicious-smelling candles.
I'm thankful that I have a yard big enough for chickens... and chickens who are well-behaved, fat and happy.
I'm thankful for the technology that allows me to type this post and leave it out in the open for y'all to read.
I'm thankful for the word "y'all," because it makes me smile to type it.
What are you thankful for today?