Today (well, at about 6pm NZ time) it’s the American holiday of Thanksgiving. I’ve always thought that it’s such a beautiful concept for a holiday; while we should endeavor to be grateful for our blessings the whole year round, how many of us really are? I love that it’s an inclusive holiday – you can participate in it regardless of race, culture or religion as we all have things to be thankful for. The last couple of weeks have been a bit rough at the M household so it’s a great time for me to turn my frown upside down and think about the positive things in my life!
It feels like only yesterday that we were writing ridiculously long messages to each other on Facebook but in three months we will have been together six years! In that time we’ve been through some tremendous highs and lows but there’s something so comforting about knowing that whatever happens, that one person will always have your back.
I’m certainly not going to pretend that being a mama is smooth sailing – teething and learning to crawl means that tantrums are fairly common in this house. I know, however, that I am so blessed to have a child and in particular my child – he makes me laugh and smile on a regular basis. Just the other day I watched him wriggling round in his cot when he should have been sleeping. I used the intercom function on the monitor and said “What are you doing, cheeky boy?”. Immediately he flopped his head down on the cot mattress and pretended to be asleep. So smart, that one.
It’s so easy to look at other people’s families and be envious – they have two parents or they have parents who don’t work and can help with free childcare. I’m grateful that our families are part of CJ’s life at all because I know of people (even within our own circle of friends) for whom this is not the case. It’s definitely a case of counting the blessings that we have for this one, whether it’s my dad helping to baby-proof the deck, my sister baby-sitting on the weekend or my mother-in-law making baby food for CJ to eat.
As I was sitting down and writing my Christmas cards this year (yes, I’ve already started) it did make me think about how the nature of some of my friendships have changed over the course of the year. We all have those friends that we love hanging out with but we always seem to be the one putting in more effort, and while I didn’t have kids that was fine. Now that I’ve had CJ I haven’t always been able to put in that extra effort and it shows. It’s a little sad but on the flip side other friendships have developed and grown and that makes me so happy. CJ is always going to be a part of my life so it is great to have friends that support us as a family.
I moved out of home at 17, and despite an extended period at home when Mum was sick, I’ve been renting for about 10 years. I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of sick of it. I wish with all my heart that we could own our own house, but it’s just not possible on the one income that we have right now. I’m trying to put my focus on the fact that we have a home that we can live in, at the cheaper end of the rental market that doesn’t have any major issues. Does it get my goat that we have no space for a dining table? Does it annoy me that I have to walk all the way around the bench to get to our pantry? Do I long for a garage that is actually big enough to park a car in? Yes. But all of these I can make do with and I’m thankful that we can at least afford to rent a place of our own. Home is what you make of it, regardless of whether you own a house or not.
And the rest! I’m thankful for:
Random donations of clothes for CJ – the online communities I am a part of – great food – living in a beautiful country – the savings that we had in the bank this year – lilies in the garden – seconds fruit at the greengrocer that makes perfect baby food – great advice – watching CJ demolish crackers (he looks so crazy) – sunny days – the black track pants I’m wearing that I swear I’ve had for like fifteen years – planning adventures – the dishwasher – the ability to stay home with my son for the best part of a year – and so SO much more.
What are you grateful for this holiday season?