I am always a day (or so) late and a dollar (or a lot more) short, but after a 3-stop Thanksgiving tour, here's my short list.
The way my boys love parades, but are just as excited to watch them on TV. Snuggled with Mommy and Daddy. In a king size bed. With flannel sheets. And a down comforter. All warm and toasty. The air with the smell of freshly bathed little boys and crisp coolness.
Only having 3 places to go on Thanksgiving, which is down from 4 places.
Knowing that no matter how cruel kids may be, my boys always have each other. To love. To fight. To entertain. To be brothers.
Having friends that get me or if they don't, still letting me be me.
Realizing that home is still there for me even though I spent most of my life trying to get away. It may still be dysfunctional, but sometimes it's just good to be in the familiar. Sometimes.
Lots of wine.
Having a husband who loves me. Who thanked me last night for staying home and taking care of the boys. For knowing that I needed that validation. That approval. That understanding. That I am doing what is important right now. Even though it is difficult. Even though I have doubts that I am doing what is best for everyone. And we are approaching financial hardship. And Hubby hates his job. But we are still happier and more in love than ever.
A near 8-year-old who has recently started to take showers. And wash his hair. With minimal assistance or prompting. And not emptying shampoo bottles. For this week anyhow. A little boy who all of a sudden is choosing to read at bed time. Dr. Seuss. Curious George. Clifford the Big Red Dog. To his brother.
A near 4-year-old who did not shut up during Thanksgiving dinner. Who is now speaking 3- to 4-word sentence approximations very loudly. When he could not produce more than an "ahhh" sound less than a year ago. And then just a few words here an there. Who could only randomly do ending consonants 6 months ago for most words. Who no longer chooses to use sign language as his primary means of communication. Who enjoys his voice. Who is learning how to dance. When his brother sings.
Blogs to read. To make me feel not so alone on days I forget how lucky I am. And to remind me of human kindness, human diversity, and what really matters.
I would be really thankful for a house that cleans itself, if that was a possibility.
The ability to make choices. And to learn from bad ones.
Family. Immediate. Extended. Those I get. Those I don't get. Even those I don't want to get. Those who live nearby. Those who don't. Just knowing that they are there.
Not having to go Christmas shopping today. Not having money does have its upside.