The kid came home the other day with a list of things he’s thankful for. His handwriting and drawings are so cute, but what he is thankful for made my heart melt. This year has been full of changes, some good and some not so good, some changes changed our family even more. Learning gratitude has been a task for this kid, but nonetheless, both the kid and I still have found so many reasons to be thankful for.
Every morning we wake up, we both get ready for work and school, kid has breakfast, I make sure everything is taken care of, and off to school we go. Once we get in the car, we pray together. My kid is starting to understand what gratitude actually is. He has learned manners of course, please and thank you, the basics, so he does alright in public. However, when it’s just me and him out and about, shopping and whatnot, he always asks: ‘can I get a hot-wheels car?’, ‘can I get this?’ or ‘can I get that?’ Me: What!?! Noo!!!
That’s on me though, and a lot of parents have been in my shoes and I in theirs, especially those who are single parents. To get your kid to do whatever, you bribe them. Whether this is good or bad parenting, I don’t care, it got the job done when I needed it, and still does. However, the kid now expects me to get him a little toy or something just because he was good at school and daycare. Well, it has taken me some time to reprogram the kid and get him to understand that it is expected of him to actually behave at school, and to actually get me good grades, and when he does get a toy or a prize or something, it’s because he actually earned it and even if he didn’t do anything to deserve it, his mama wanted to do something nice for you. So, ‘thank you mama’ should follow immediately!
The kid is a boy who just turned 8, so I’m not expecting miracles from him, but he does understand that he has been so blessed. We just worked on the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes by Samaritan Purse, and realizing that there are kids all around the globe who never get toys or cheeseburgers or warm clothes or shoes, was actually humbling for him. “So they don’t get stuff?” he asked. “No! Their parents don’t have money for that, and some kids don’t even have parents” I said. He hugged me and said: “I’m happy I have you mama”. That’s good enough for me.
So this is what the kid is grateful for: he’s grateful for God and Jesus, for his mama, for his family, his teachers and for school. He’s thankful for the Pokémon cards he’s gotten, and for our Veterans and for NCIS. He’s also grateful for the video games he has and for his grandparents. He’s especially grateful for Ms. Richter and for Ms. Martin, his best teachers ever! He’s grateful because we have tables and chairs and markers too. Last but not least, he’s thankful for his friends.
What am I thankful for? I’m thankful I can wake up every day so I can continue being my kid’s mama. I’m thankful both the kid and I are healthy. I’m thankful God provided us with a house and a vehicle. I’m thankful we have food to eat. I’m thankful I have family and friends I can have a great time with and hug whenever I see them. I’m thankful we have found a church that blesses our lives in so many ways. I’m thankful I have found a way to help myself get healthier and help others get healthier too. I’m thankful God has answered my prayers and has guided me to where He wants me to go to. I’m thankful because I had Richard, Nike & Zoe in my life, none of this would have happened if Richard had not been in my life. I’m thankful because God gave me this kid. I’m thankful because God chose me to be this kid’s mama. I’m thankful and honored to have this mission for my life. I’m thankful because God has held my hand through every storm the kid and I have gone through. I’m thankful because we can share with others how wonderful God has been to us, and how much God has blessed our lives.
Thanksgiving is just a few days away, our days will get busy with getting the house ready and getting ready for our dinner. The kid is excited because he will get to eat all the mac and cheese he can and I am excited because Cracker Barrel is doing all our cooking. Black Friday and Christmas shopping will also get in the way and steal our attention. I do hope however, that in the midst of all this, you would find it in your heart to spend some time thanking God for being alive and having family and friends to share your life with.
Thank you for reading, God bless you and your family, and Happy Thanksgiving!