I know that my blog is usually full of humorous anecdotes about the insanity of parenting, but this week I feel the need to write something a little different. Last week was Thanksgiving. That night I ended up in the ER with my youngest daughter, Charlotte, who was having a severe allergic reaction. It was the type of reaction that can kill people if they do not get immediate medical attention. While I was sitting with her, I realized just how much I really had to be thankful for. With the economy the way that it is, I think a lot of people have forgotten how wonderful we really have it. This has been made blindingly obvious by the people "occupying Wall Street".
So after the benefits of modern medicine made my little girl healthy again, I sat and thought about the little things in life that we take for granted but I am so thankful for. This is what I came up with: I am thankful for my children's laughter, so many kids out there have nothing to laugh about. I am thankful for my husband, who is my best friend and without him I would be insane (Or more insane, anyway). I am thankful for my kids (who make me insane). I am thankful that I can put my daughter in the car and have immediate access to people who can make her better when she is ill. I am thankful for light switches and electricity, how awful would it be to have to use candles with small children in the house? I am thankful for my car because it means that I don't have to walk when it is very cold outside.
I am thankful for the school system which provides my children with the education they need to make their way in the world. I am thankful to live in a country that realizes that women are equals to men. Many women in the world are silenced due to their gender. I am thankful that I can turn on a faucet and have safe drinking water. I am thankful that my country does its best to make sure that its people do not go hungry, even if some people take advantage of those benefits. I am thankful for grocery stores and the farms that produce the food in them because it means that I will never have to milk a cow (Thank God.).
I am thankful that the sun rises everyday and that it means I get to have one more day with the people that I love. I am thankful for sunny days at the pool in summer. I am thankful for rainy days in spring and fall when you can curl up with a book and a blanket. I am thankful for white Christmases when the world looks like it has been frosted with glittery sugar. I am thankful for sunshine and rainbows after a thunderstorm. I am thankful for piles of leaves to jump in and puddles to splash in.
I am thankful that I have a house to clean, even if it is a daily battle, because it means that my family has a safe and warm place to sleep at night. I am thankful for the health of my children, and for the researchers out there trying to make sure all children stay healthy. I am thankful for my job and my husband's job because too many people are out of work. I am thankful for coffee in the morning. I am thankful for the process of making grapes into wine (who isn't?). I am thankful for sex, it is practical and fun. (Again who isn't?)
I could go on and on. So many people out there have less than I do. Now that I think about how truly blessed I am I feel selfish and petty for complaining about what I have and don't have. I probably will still complain (I am human after all.), but I will endeavor to count my blessings as much as I can. Yes, I agree our country is in a huge mess, and something definitely needs to change. But maybe the biggest change needs to be made within ourselves. We all need to start having an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for the small things in life. If you want something to change, you need to make it happen for yourself. No one is going to walk around making your life perfect for you. Be thankful. Count your blessings. And start each day with a smile (usually happens after my first cup of coffee).