Sunday, March 04, 2012

gratitude list

Here's what I am grateful for today:

  • That my kids coughs are just that- coughs.  While it may keep us up at night, and require some extra TLC, I know that it will end, and soon.  Their little bodies are functioning as perfectly as they can, and for that, I feel like I have won the lottery.  Seeing friends and strangers who are battling with their children's serious injuries and illnesses shows me how I should have more gratitude for what we've got.
  • Our house.  It may be old, and drafty, with a small cramped kitchen.  It may have a toilet that runs at all hours of the day and electrical wiring from the days of Roosevelt.  But it is ours.  Actually it is the bank's.  But while Gavin has a job and we can continue making our payments, we have a sense of security that some day...even if it's not for a while, we will own it free and clear.  In the mean time we get to sleep under it's roof, and cook our meals in it's kitchen, and bathe in the hot tubs, with the peaceful security that no matter how hard the day has been or how the outside world has beat us up, we can return to the space under our roof and feel safe.  There are a lot of families who do not have this luxury.
  • My neighborhood.  I wish it were more racially and ethnically diverse.  I wish the lots were a teensy bit bigger.  But here is what I am grateful for- that it is safe.  That if I need to call the cops, they will not only respond, but they will respond quickly.  My zip code gives me a lot of luxuries that I have often taken for granted.  A school that is top notch where parents turn out in droves to volunteer their time and money so that we can have programs like our resident Art Instructor, Hands on Science, and Virginia Tanner Dance in the school.  Neighborhood businesses that are supportive of our community and give us books, and groceries, and flowers, and bagels, and art, and Middle Eastern food, and bikes, and sandwiches, and a place to take our dogs to get washed.  The fact that I don't have to get in the car for any of these services or goods is so valuable...and in Utah- rare.
  • My husband.  I bitch and moan about him a lot.  Why he's not perfect, or is not equipped with the ability to read my mind, or has a perfect aim at the toilet at midnight in the dark.  But what I usually forget, and need to remember, is how good he really is.  Cooking dinner most nights, paying all the bills, working so that I can go back to school, playing LEGO's with the kids and taking them skiing on the weekends, allowing them to take an obscene amount of extra curricular after school lessons so that they excel in a variety of areas, helping Dalton with his math homework, grocery shopping at Costco, doing the laundry, allowing us to take our three cats to an overpriced vet rather than dropping them off in the west desert, downloading apps for the IPads that the kids will like and then letting them play with their sticky fingers, going to the gym every day so that even though I don't often show it I am still totally turned on by him...these are just some of the reasons why I am grateful for Gavin.
  • My parents- all three of them.  My Mom for being my kids second mother, and the reason that we always have at least one box of sugar cereal in the cupboards for those mornings when that is the only motivation to get out of bed when you are 11 and life seems tough.  The reason why I have a purse that is nice, the reason why I am able to volunteer in my kids school, or attend book group, or get my hair done, when Gavin is out of town.  The reason why my kids feel loved when they are in the time-out corner serving their sentence.  She ALWAYS has our backs, even if she doesn't always agree with her conservative-turned-progressive child, and for that I should be more grateful.
  • My step-dad, Dan.  Without him, we would be eking out an existence in real estate and at a multi-level marketing company, hawking Noni juice or carpet cleaner.  Because of him, Gavin was able to attend MBA school without a penny of debt when he graduated.  Because of Dan, Gavin was able to work at a job part time during MBA school, where the position was created for him, and he was paid very generously.  We were able to pay our bills, and lead a comfortable life, thanks to Dan.  Thanks to Dan, there is always an open door for us at a beautiful resort-like lodge tucked in the mountains.  Thanks to Dan, there is always a horse that is saddled and waiting to be ridden.  Thanks to Dan there is always an accepting shoulder and a listening ear.  No one is perfect, but Dan has been pretty perfect as a Dad to me, Gavin, Dalton, Shelby and Garrett.  The word step in step-dad has no meaning to any of us, and for him I am very grateful.
  • My Dad.  The most worried hippy on the planet.  He has traveled his own path that has been bumpy and windy at times, but what I am most grateful for is that he has no ego about his journey.  He is one who tries to be honest about where he has been in life and what parts were lessons learned.  When I trip and fall, or err big time, he is the first one to pick me up, dust me off, and tell me that the only way out is through.  His appreciation of nature, his love of all people regardless of their state in life, his joy at seeing our accomplishments, makes me very grateful to have him for a father.  His compass is one that has guided me many times, and helped me find my own north star.

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