Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Every Day

  Dear Kendra and Amber,
  Today is Thanksgiving Day.  We will gather around the table, surrounded by family, enjoying the togetherness and warmth I've always wanted for you.  But I don't need a special day to thank you both for how incredible you've made my life.
 We didn't celebrate Thanksgiving where I come from, but we never lost sight of what was truly important.  I can't speak for everyone else, of course.  But I know what it was like to go without water or bread for days.  I know what it was like to clean and shine  old shoes because new ones were out of reach.  I know what it was like to walk into a toy shop, and leave empty handed.
  Although these paint a bleak picture, and were not enjoyable in the least, it did teach me to appreciate what I had, and work hard for what I didn't.  It's easy to fall into the illusion that we can have anything we want; that we should have everything we want.  
  When adulthood pulls the blinders off, you look around and see children have no food, and many people have lost everything, and you wonder how you could've been so blind?  You quickly realize that the term "good life" is one of the most relative concepts in existence.
   But why am I telling you all this?
  When I asked you what's your favorite toy, neither of you had an answer.  At first I was happy you couldn't choose.  It told me that you are two lucky kids who have a lot of toys.  Later, it made me sad that you were unable to deem one of those special.  
   Taking things for granted is an enduring human trait.  It's fairly impossible not to do it, especially in times of plenty.
   I'd love to take that old school stand and teach you certain lessons, but I'm far too in love with your smiles.  I may be wrong in doing my best to spoil you. I may be wrong in doing all I can to shelter you from harsh realities.  I may be wrong in thinking you're too little to have a bitter taste of life.  I may be wrong...
   So I'll say this:
  Kendra and Amber, be thankful for what you have.  Be thankful for each today that grants you the opportunity to make a better tomorrow.  Be thankful for the advice of friends.  Be thankful for the love of family.  Be thankful to have each other, for your laughter, for your soft bed, and more than anything, be thankful for your health.
  Be thankful for the chance to dream, and for living in a land where you can make those dreams happen, not just today, but every day.
  Be thankful that your childhood is an eye of the hurricane life can be, and know that no one can enjoy its safety forever.  Grow strong so when you reach the high winds, you know how to stand and what to hold onto. 
 Today is Thanksgiving Day.  We will gather around the table, surrounded by family, enjoying the togetherness and warmth I've always wanted for you.  But I don't need a special day to say thanks.  
   I'm most thankful for each second I get to spend with my little girls, for you inspire me to write wise advice I vow to follow.

1 comment:

  1. The best thing you can give your kids is true gratitude...for EVERYTHING..every life lesson, every breath they take are gifts..they shape us into the people we are, and we have choices...we can choose to enjoy ourselves and be interesting...or not. When we are truly grateful, NOTHING is hard work and we are always abundant... we have to be, because in that state, we know nothing else. For example, two sisters may leave a store without having bought toys, but how soon is that forgotten when one pokes the other, starts running and giggling while yelling, "You're it! Can't catch me!" In the thrill of the chase, all else is forgotten and there's only fun and well being...inner peace is the most valuable asset anyone can own. Knowing that those siblings have each other will be/is their biggest luxury and comfort...the closeness and joy they feel when their heads are bent and they are sharing a private joke (or as they get older...their hopes, dreams and fears)that only THEY know the punchline to is invaluable and EXACTLY what they DESERVE. Teach them that and you will never be wrong...