Happy, happy Thanksgiving!
My littlest man is snuggled in his Boppy pillow this morning, blowing raspberries and swinging a new rattle (sometimes into his face — ow!) as the Thanksgiving Day parade begins on TV. Scott is upstairs finishing our cleaning frenzy in preparation for company today.
I smell Aveeno baby lotion, my second cup of coffee and some powerful cleaning agent from upstairs. In a few hours, it will smell of turkey and potatoes, pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.
It’s a dreary day outside but it will not be a dreary day in any way inside our country home.
I am filled with gratitude. It almost overwhelms me.
One year ago, I was pregnant — but didn’t know it yet. I knew I was on the edge of something great and that life would take me to unexpected places, but I had no idea where or how.
I am so thankful for so much. I am a lucky, lucky girl.
I have a job that is, on most days, pretty darned enjoyable. I meet fascinating people every week who I might not otherwise ever have met. I get to tell stories that will help people, touch people, educate people. And I get to do a lot of it right from my own home.
We have a home, awesome when we moved in two years ago, but now perfect with our own personal touches and tastes and filled with photos, knick-knacks and laughter that remind us of all the happy times we’ve shared.
And there are our neighbors, our community and our church family. Strangers who came into our life a couple of years ago and have shared stories in our driveway, taken care of our pets and given us great gifts, material and spiritual ones. And we are slowly but surely finding ways to give back to them and to share bits of our crazy life with them.
I have friends I only know through blogs and Facebook and forums; friends who I’ve never met in person and probably never will. Their openness moves me all the time and gives me strength in my own life.
And we have friends — wonderful, caring, beautiful friends from all over the country. Some of them we don’t see as often as we’d like, but keep in touch with thanks to the Internet. Some of them are so considerate and send us gifts for Zack and cards on every holiday. Some of our friends can only manage a call every couple of weeks and yet it’s like not a day has gone by and still others share their lives with us only once in a blue moon, but in conversations that are so special they’re simply unforgettable. We are so thankful to be a part of our friends’ lives, especially as some of them welcome babies, prepare for weddings or start new jobs. The love goes both ways.
I’m so thankful for the new friends we have or the friends we’ve gotten closer to this year, many of them because of Zack’s birth and the birth of their own children this year — Reva and Bret, Angie and Scott and Brandi and her family. It is amazing to know that Zack already has so many friends, friends whom he will hopefully grow up with and share in many of the fun milestones that lie ahead of him. And two babies smiling up at you is more exhilarating than just one!
And then, of course is family. My larger families — the LaLondes, the Dowhans, the McCardle/Goncalves clan and all of the Zooks and Devlins. Some of them I’m just getting closer to now after years of separation. Others have been there for me all my life and prove that you don’t need shared blood to be family. Others have shared grief and love with me this year and made me realize that you can not be strolling through life alone.
And my immediate family. Wow, wow, wow. My husband and son are my world. I don’t know that I truly lived until I found Scott and helped create Zack-Man. Every morning, I get kisses and snuggles from my best friend and then walk across the hallway to my smiling, babbling baby boy.
I’m not alone in my thoughts. I asked Scott just now, “what are you thankful for?”
His reply: “My family. Period.”
We have a great life. And I think I finally really know what it means to be thankful. I took so much for granted in the past, and I don’t plan on doing that ever again.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!