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Giving Thanks

I can’t get enough of all the expression of gratitude today. How wonderful it is to have a holiday devoted to giving thanks.

I’ve actually been thinking about expressions of gratitude a lot these last few months. I have worked on saying to BabyC, “Thank you for letting me brush your teeth so nicely – now they are so clean!” instead of “Good job with your teeth!” Once I started paying attention to this, I’m finding that BabyC does lots of things that I’m thankful for, and I make sure I tell her:

“Thank you for that loving hug.”

“Thanks for helping me change your diaper by holding still.”

“Thanks for dancing with me – that was really fun!”

I’m trying to model my expressions of gratitude by thanking Husband for all that he does, too. And really, we can all benefit from recognizing the things we are thankful for and from telling each other how we feel. The thankfulness rubs off, and someday, I know BabyC will genuinely say “thank you” as well. Thank you to Janet Lansbury for making me think about the difference between saying “thank you” and “good job” to a toddler. And thank you to The Twin Coach for her great post on teaching children to feel and express gratitude, which of course starts with recognizing and expressing our own gratitude, even for the smallest, everyday things.

Here’s what I’m feeling thankful for tonight:

  • The support of our friends and family during Our Baby Year. A year ago today, we had a week-old baby on our hands. The world was a fuzzy, sleep-deprived place, but I never felt more supported and loved. My mother got up way too early that morning to take BabyC off of our hands so Husband and I could get a little more sleep, and then she proceeded to whip up a beautiful homemade Thanksgiving feast for the three of us. I was newly lactating and famished, so I was grateful for it then. Having just whipped up my own “little” Thanksgiving (is it ever little?) today, I’m even more thankful and impressed, too. Thanks, Mom.
  • A husband who supports my dreams and wants me to be happy. Every so often he says, “How are you, Baby?” As is, how are you really? This may seem like a small thing, but it is huge to me. And he was a big help in the kitchen today, too.
  • My child, who gives me the biggest grin first thing in the morning, the warmest hugs, and the most honest, wordless, expressions of gratitude.
  • The joy and responsibility of parenting. I have learned so much this past year, not just about the kind of parent I want to be, but also the kind of person I strive to be.
  • The hour of sunshine this morning, during which I was able to escape from the kitchen for a run.
  • The chance to write, to create something, even if it is small.
  • The community of parents and writers I have found through my blog, the sense that my struggles and triumphs are shared by many.
  • YOU. Thank you for reading. You have no idea how much it means to me to see that real people actually read what I write. Really, thanks for being here.

What are you thankful for today?

  1. So wise for your years. I had a l tear in my eye by the time I came to the end. I am thankful for your sharing. It has enriched a new Grammy too!


    November 25, 2011
    • Thanks, Becky! I really think writing has made me more thoughtful about how I parent and helped me to understand my new identity as a mother, so I appreciate the opportunity to share and to hear from you!


      November 27, 2011

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