A Time to Give Thanks

It’s that time of year again…

The groceries are purchased, the meal plan is set. And this time tomorrow, all the work will be done, as will the elaborate meal.

 

 

Thanksgiving remains my favorite holiday. Even though this year may feel like everything has gone awry, we can take this opportunity to put things into perspective and count our many blessings.

Needs

I am grateful that my family, wherever they are, has been afforded all basic needs: food, water, shelter, clothes, air, etc.

Even for those of my family and friends impacted by the hurricanes this year, they are still not wanting for the basics.

And though my contribution to helping others less fortunate is small relative to the challenges they face, if we all do our part, we can make a difference. It’s this time of year that I especially remember that there are those who want for what I take for granted.

Wants

Anyone with small children who watch TV this time of year knows that there’s a new “it” toy every commercial break.

Whether for children or for adults, we don’t need any new toys in our house. We’ve been systematically trying to clear some of the clutter of things we’ve outgrown.

Even in my own shopping, whether it’s clothes shopping or beauty buys or gadgets, I find it amazing that I can get that elusive item that fits my expectations and my budget.

At the start of the holiday season, it always breaks my heart to see parents struggling to make a good holiday for their kids due to financial constraints.

And, yes, I know and agree that a memorable holiday doesn’t have anything to do with the monetary value of the gifts under the tree.

Luxuries

There are so many things we pay money for that we don’t need, services we take for granted that someone will do for us, or items that we get that are nicer just because. Do I take for granted carrying a designer logo on shoulder or wrist, fancy gadgets or vanity spending? I need to do better about recognizing how very blessed I am.

This year we’ve been blessed to take some awesome trips, and the memories we made will last a lifetime. That’s the best luxury of them all, and I’m so grateful that we’ve been able to do that as a family.

So this Thanksgiving I’m going to consciously improve my gratitude practice and appreciate just how good I really have it.

I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Previous years: 2016  2015  2013

Mother’s Day Musings

There’s lots of trite ways to start a blog post about Mother’s Day, and I tried a number of them before starting fresh.

So, from the heart, here’s what I’ve got:

I always wanted to be a mom. Some girls just know.

So, after a unique journey, when my first munchkin showed up, one of the deepest wishes of my heart was fulfilled. A couple years later, another one entered my life a little more dramatically and promptly wrapped me around a very dear little finger.

Mother's Day Musings

And I know that I’m blessed. Some mothers don’t have the experience that I do. Some don’t look at Mother’s Day as a day to celebrate. My heart goes out to you as you’re inundated with pictures of smiling families at brunch with flowers.

While I’m still in the throes of tantrums, diapers, and sleeplessness, I parent but haven’t faced any of the big challenges of older children.

My older one has developed empathy, making her a lot more fun to be around, and wants to do stuff that I want to do, like bake stuff and draw pictures. The little one also likes to do one of my favorite things. Hint: it rhymes with “Need Hooks.” He’ll raid the shelves for several volumes that he’ll bring to me in the kitchen or whatever other place is wet or sticky and insist I drop what I’m doing and answer this human need to hear a story.

How has being a mother changed me? Well, there are some obvious things, like jiggly bits, including the bags under my eyes, but there are other, deeper changes too. And I’m not talking about the fundamental altering of my DNA (it’s a thing!) that now includes some of my children’s DNA mixed with mine.

You may have heard your parents say “you’ll understand when you’re a parent.” And I didn’t discount those words. But their reality is much greater.

I truly believe that the depth of emotion I experienced—and hopefully expressed—writing “Redeeming the Demon’s Daughter” (without spoilers I refer to the opening scene of Suvi with her son) would have been impossible for me prior to becoming a mother.

I have a vivid imagination, but, like any writer, I still have to draw from my experience and emotion to write a believable character. The love a parent has for a child is different than any other kind of love. It’s not the same love you have for a spouse or a parent. And I had to experience that love to be able to write about it.

So even though Suvi and I could scarcely be more different and she made choices and sacrifices I can’t even begin to imagine, her story called to me from the beginning because of our shared experience as mothers.

And so to all the mothers out there—past, present, and future—we share a bond that I acknowledge this Mother’s Day.

Previous Posts:

A Little Honesty for Mother’s Day

First Mother’s Day