Thursday, November 25, 2010

Rerun: Gratitude in Frustration

Originally published November 25, 2009.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope your day was wonderful!

If I am grateful for the wonders of motherhood, I am equally grateful for patience in handling motherhood. When I am driven thisclose to losing my temper, stopping to be grateful for the chance to practice patience is sometimes the furthest thought from my mind. But, to live in gratitude means that I must seek out ways to experience its beauty.

When the box of broken and tattered crayons is spilled (dumped?) for the 5th time in an afternoon, sending bits of waxy crumbs all over the kitchen floor, I am grateful for the chance to illustrate a life lesson: dump the crayons, and coloring is over.

When my 19-month old scales the bistro-table-height chairs before climbing to the edge of the even-taller kitchen table to do a dance which will knock over a glass of juice, I am grateful that she is strong and able. I am grateful that she did not fall -- this time. I am grateful for the industrial sized jug of juice that is waiting in the wings, and the drawer full of towels to clean up the mess. I am grateful that she has such great dance moves; I hear those are handy.

When my big girl tells me she doesn't love me anymore, she only loves daddy now instead, I am thankful that she has such a wonderful father to love. Perhaps even more (selfishly so), I am thankful that I have a husband who will quickly enumerate for Mia all the reasons she should be thankful for me. I am thankful for her comfort in speaking her feelings, even when they aren't what I want to hear. I am thankful that she will most certainly change her allegiance again tomorrow.

When there is toddler poop under my fingernails after an energetic diaper-changing session, I am grateful for warm water and foaming soap. I am grateful that potty training is just around the corner. I am grateful that my child has enough healthy food to keep her body working regularly. I am grateful for my cold which prevents me from smelling the disastrous diaper.

When eating out at a restaurant and Mia is fascinated enough by a woman with generous proportions to say (loudly): "I think she ate too much food, her belly is FULL!" I am thankful for Lauren's impatient yelling which has hopefully obscured her sister's insult. I am thankful for Mia's inquiring mind and imaginative thoughts. I am thankful that our budget limits our ability to dine out on a regular basis, therefore Mia's highly descriptive words aren't set upon the general public very often.

When my daughters wreck a room with spilled snacks, scattered toys, and screaming chaos, I am grateful that we are able to provide them with a safe place to mess up at all. I am grateful that they can entertain themselves. I am grateful that they are unbearably cute, because sometimes they can behave SO unattractively that the cuteness seems to be their only redeeming quality.

When it has been a long day filled with some combination of all of the above instances, I am filled with profound gratitude that my husband is no longer a road-warrior; he will be home soon. All I have to do is find a small measure of patience to sustain me until he arrives. Or until bedtime -- the point at which we can look back on the wonder of another day spent raising children and laugh at the antics of our darling daughters. Because, strangely enough, the time they spend sleeping seems to be the time when our gratitude is downright overflowing.

Go figure.

In what unpredictably messy moments do you experience gratitude? (Even if it's forced...)


  1. I love the uniqueness of this Thanskgiving post. Ironically enough, bedtime is also when we sit around, giggling about the day's antics and expressing our thankfulness.
    Todays -- G. screamed Don't look at me, don't talk to me and don't talk ABOUT me for the first 15 minutes of our relatives arriving. He was clinging to me legs. I'm grateful I have legs to which he can cling. And for relatives who still like us after such an episode.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  2. Love this! It is so true. I think it is in those moments of total chaos that we find true gratitude for the rest of the moments. Have a wonderful day!!

  3. Yes! Grateful for the chaos! Grateful for the crazy! Once again, well said!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. wonderful post. i needed to read this after a very trying day. thanks for your blog-love it! :)


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?