There are lots of things that I'm thankful for...many of them are tangible, the family and friends I see every day. Some things are minor, some are major, some are 'a-ha' invasions of my consciousness when I least expect it.
*The padding sounds of little feet coming down the hall, her arms encircling my neck as I pick her up, as she say to me "why are you up?" in the sleepiest, most adorable way imaginable.
*More little, and not-so-little feet, sneaking up behind me to say good morning, hugs all around. Even from the big kid, who still <sometimes> sits in my lap, on the occasions that it's vacant.
*The funny phone call from my brother, that lets me breathe a small sigh of relief that someone else is there to help me rein my Dad in when he gets all crazed about something minor, like the sports page. (Is it too early to start drinking?)
*Knowing I'll get to go to my Tia's house, and revel in all the loudness, the shouting that is normal conversation there. (While trying to avoid any mention of eating, because my Tio will be insulted if you don't taste his turkey; bulging waistband be damned. Tums, anyone?)
*Songs sung by a three year old who makes up her own words. Her rendition of "Jingle Bells" in the van last night was so funny I'm lucky Mr W was driving, because I'd have made a wrong turn. She takes liberties with the alphabet, too, but she's got the melody right, so who cares?
*The unique love of my boys: it's nice to know there will always be three men in the world who adore me.
*My friends, new and old, who remind me that once in a while, Mom comes first, and that adult conversation is something to be prized almost as much as "googoo gahgah." They are the little islands of sanity that I retreat to each day, and occasionally, we limbo--creaking limbs and all.
*Mr W. Who still, after all this time, well...makes me happy, makes me mad, makes me laugh, and rarely makes me cry. He takes all my craziness in stride, while still possessing qualities that make my stomach do the flip-flop it did the night we met. (Okay, maybe there are four men in the world who adore me. lol)
My Mom. Whenever someone compliments me on my kids, I almost want to call her and thank her right on the spot. Because I learned how to be a Mom from her, and she's the one who taught me that the best gift a parent has to offer is love.
My Dad, who in spite of his gruff nature and bad temper, is my champion. He has the most amazing work ethic I've ever seen, and for what? For all of us. He spoils us all like mad, and there really isn't a more Kodak moment than when he is sitting at the table, with a grandchild in front of him, sharing his breakfast. Even my new-Mom fervor of trying only one food at a time was squelched when I saw him very gently feeding Nolan some eggs, so many years ago.
*My Nanas, who are still around, and don't think my kids are disrespectful when they call them "shrimpy Nana" and "two-Nana".
There are things out in the great big world that I'm thankful for too. But for me, the most important thing I like to touch on is my family. I didn't grow up with much, but I always had a circle of people around that loved me, and helped shape who I am today.
And I will always be thankful for that.