Giving Thanks

Every Mother's Day there's some discussion of how Jake is going to be 'really good'. It goes something like: clean up after yourself; don't give your mother a hard time; do as your told; be sweet; etc. And every Mother's Day I wonder: why isn't every day Mother's Day? Shouldn't you do those things all the time?

On Thanksgiving every year I wonder something similar. Shouldn't we be thankful every day for the multitude of blessings in our lives? Why must it take a holiday to get us to stop and list the things in our lives for which we are grateful? And yet, we don't. Writing about my life helps me to pause and consider my good fortune but it's still not exactly an organic task.

Of all of the challenges of parenting, by far the most difficult for me is helping Jake to appreciate what he has. It doesn't help that we live in a very affluent area and that everyone around us seems to have 'more'. We don't watch commercials on television (thank you DVR) or listen to commercial radio but the culture of wanting is insipid and creeps into our lives anyway. On some level, I think it's human nature, and not entirely a bad thing (when it's used as a motivator to reach higher). And how can I teach my kids not to be so 'wanty' if I'm suffering from a case of the wants myself? It's like pushing the proverbial rock up the proverbial hill.

So even though I wish everyday was Thanksgiving, it's not. And it certainly is a lovely thing to celebrate—what we do have to give thanks for. And it's so very easy to do when surrounded by family and friends and such great abundance.

Maybe this year every day will be Thanksgiving. But probably not. In the meantime I'll offer up my thanks for: children's imaginations; color; sunshine; the perfect pair of boots; dog kisses and family resemblance.