Earlier this month, I met Sam for coffee and conversation.
Mommy: Thank you so much for meeting me here. I know you have a busy schedule.
Sam: I’m just thankful for talking to something that’s really good.
M: You know, that segues nicely into what I wanted to talk about. We’re coming up on Thanksgiving, as you know, and I’m so curious–what are you thankful for? Continue reading → The Boy Gives Thanks
Do you text your spouse throughout the day? Lately, my husband has been asking that I send him more pictures of what the kids and I are doing. (I asked that he send pictures of his day, too, and I received several blank-faced shots of him at his desk. Thanks, Hon.)
At first I kind of rolled my eyes. Since he spends most of his day in a cubicle or a meeting room, he seems to idealize our “freedom.” (If you’re a stay-at-home mom of littles like me, you understand the quotation marks.) But as I started sending more photos, I started focusing on the bright spots in even our dullest days, and seeing the humor in some of the darker moments. (Have you ever texted anyone a picture of poop? You can’t help but giggle about it.)
Having spent quite a few days doing this, there is one drawback: sometimes the pictures are quite repetitive from one day to the next. But that just adds to the challenge. I’ve started to look for the silliest things I can send, or the most mundane. He wants pictures, he’s going to get them.
At Costco, a woman offered me her place in line because I had the baby strapped to my chest, and babies notoriously don’t like waiting in line. The baby was in a fine mood, so I declined, but the offer brightened my whole morning.
The girl ran around for the better part of an hour shouting, “BALL!” in the wild and crazy baby bacchanalia that we weekday morning parents know as an indoor playground (i.e. toys scattered around a gym). She had a blast, which led to a lovely nap.
When I asked for whipped cream on my nonfat peppermint mocha, the barista wrote WC! on the cup, and maybe the exclamation point is standard at Starbucks, but it made the prospect of whipped cream just that much more exciting.
The boy rediscovered Llama Llama, Holiday Drama and has insisted on acting out a particular passage–“Llama Llama, warm and snug, gives a kiss and gets a hug, snuggles close with Mama Llama…”–and, naturally, my heart melts a little each time.
Back in September, our family had one of those golden days. We took a long car ride, the baby napping while the boy happily watched cars and trucks go by, and ended up at an apple orchard, where we picked our weight in apples. It was a cute little farm, nothing too touristy, with good variety and neatly numbered rows. My husband played with the kids while I did the bulk of the picking, and then we wandered the rows, the boy ducking back and forth under the dividers and the girl riding on Daddy’s shoulders. Continue reading → The Season of Thanksgiving Day Two: I’m Thankful for Apple Days
My son is three-and-a-half years old, and he attends a developmental delay preschool. It’s an amazing program, available for children who qualify as having significant delay in at least two areas (for Sam, it’s speech and fine motor, though they are in the process of adding gross motor to this list as well). They get up four days a week, get on a school bus, and go to school like the big kids. There are kids with all different kinds of challenges in the class, and Sam loves each and every one of them–he even has a best friend, and the bus driver tells me there’s a girl whose hand he holds every day climbing off the bus. But though he now has nearly a dozen friends to babble about, I know that his first loves in class were his teachers.
Now, for rhetoric’s sake, I’m going to lump them all together as teachers: the actual teacher, the paraeducator, the occupational therapist and the speech language pathologist. Because when you get down to it, they all teach. At a recent parent-teacher conference, the OT showed me a photo she’d snapped of Sam coloring that robot. It might look like scribbles to you, but my boy has managed to put dots into circles and generally color within the lines, identifying each separate shape and using separate colors. And he smiled while he worked–not the cheesy, you’re-pointing-a-camera-at-me smile, but a real, Look-what-I-can-do! sort of smile. Continue reading → The Season of Thanksgiving, Day One: I’m Thankful for Teachers
It’s that time of year, folks. The air is crisp. There’s Halloween candy in the pantry. The leaves continue to fall and, if you live somewhere rainy like I do, to plaster themselves together and cover your deck in wood-rotting, slug-filled piles. Everything you see on the internet is either election related, Christmas advertising, or people griping about either one of those things. Usually, though I believe myself to be at least one-eighth Christmas elf (if you doubt me, take a close look at my ears), I am in the camp that would prefer the Christmas season not to begin until the fourth Friday of November–but not this year. It’s November 4th and already I’ve watched four Christmas specials. Maybe it’s the election stress. Maybe it’s this cold that won’t stop strangling me. Or my increasingly precocious, increasingly needy, increasingly sleep-troubled eleven-month-old. Or my preschooler with ever-evolving special needs diagnoses (more on that some other time). Or something.
Anyhow, it is NOT Christmastime yet, and I do not want to wash up on Christmas Eve thinking, When will this ever end? It is still autumn, my favorite season of them all, and though the pumpkin patches are now closed there’s still plenty of fall fun to be had. More importantly, we have a holiday coming up that, at its core, reminds us to be thankful for what we have. In my case that’s a whole helluva lot. It’s a time to think of the positive, even when the negative rises all around. A feast to fortify us for the coming winter.
That’s what I’ve been looking for in those Christmas specials. Also, the aforementioned Halloween candy I can’t stop picking at. Sweetness. Warmth. Distraction.
So here’s what I’m going to do. Every day until Thanksgiving, I’m going to post something positive. Something I’m thankful for. And it won’t be one of those positive things that’s really an excuse to highlight something negative (e.g. I’m so thankful I have a safe car because there are so many ridiculous drivers on the road.) If you want to loop it up with something negative, that’s your prerogative, but me–I’m going to spend a little time on the bright side. I hope you’ll join me.
The Boy (obviously) and his father (AKA Honey Bear)[If this were in order, they would be #1]
Binders (especially Trapper Keepers featuring Lisa Frank dolphins, but any binder will do) Continue reading → A Disordered and By No Means Complete List of Things I’m Thankful For