Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So Thankful

Tonight I'm thankful for...

  • small town celebrations that include my kiddos singing Thanksgiving and Christmas carols for the gathered crowds and handing out hot chocolate and candy canes
  • running into aunts and cousins and grandmas, childhood friends and new ones
  • the Capitol Christmas Tree coming from Arizona for the 1st time, and my children having the sense they took an active part in something historic as they joined in the festivities
  • the all too infrequent joy of running into someone you simply didn't expect to see - in this case, an old colleague from the Forest Service traveling with the traveling tree
  • the chance to rattle off the highlights of the last 11 years since we'd seen each other, and realizing anew that so many good and important things have happened in our lives
  • the crisp fall air requiring us to bundle up, stand a little closer to one another for warmth, and hug each other and briskly rub each other's arms a little more often
  • the cacophony of elementary school choirs, passing trains, honking motorists and chattering townsfolk, all forcing us to lean in a little closer to hear what each other is saying
  • teachers who give so much of themselves, and in so doing, bring music to life in the hearts of our children
  • an 11-yr-old daughter who insists on side pig tails, bopping around unselfconsciously and joyously in the top row of the choir, not caring one whit that no one around her is dancing
  • a 9-yr-old daughter who braves her fears about being clumsy on her crutches, and gets up in front of the crowd anyway
  • the realization that even if the 12-yr-old son hasn't been at school for two days, he still deserves to be part of this festive night, and being rewarded by seeing color in his cheeks as he finds his way to friends and falls right back in step with them
  • an 18-yr-old son who commits to the commitments he makes, and enjoys responsibility and accountability in all his endeavors
  • a husband who forgoes sleep and rest after long hours of work so he can be at as many kid events as possible, and who genuinely laments missing any of their activities; there's nowhere he'd rather be than with us
  • a mother who delights in her grandchildren and their accomplishments, just as she did with her own children
  • a dad who lights up every time his grand kids come bounding into the house
  • an aunt who treats her great nephews and nieces with as much love as she would her own grandchildren - and who showers them with movie nights, handmade gifts they cherish, and love
  • a sister who knows
  • a drafty old house, where our little girls are bundled in the living room for warmth, until their windows can be replaced in their bedroom
  • the 4 or 5 months of piano lessons when I was 10, which allows me to lull those snuggling girls off to dreamland in the dimly lit room quietly playing just the melodies of precious hymns like this and this
  • feeling a calm spirit envelop the night and sensing the activities of the day draining from my daughters' little bodies as their breathing deepens and I somehow feel them sinking into sleep.

For these things, and so many more, I am thankful.

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