I drove by a church on the way to Jake's school this morning. Flashing in bold red letters on the sign out front was a statement: "Give Thanks Every Day."
Thanks are not just for Thanksgiving, I inferred, not when you remember, not when it's expected, nor only when it's convenient.
I read it as a directive. Give thanks every day.
I was reminded again by a co-worker a few hours later. As we chit-chatted about the long weekend he said, "I'm just blessed. Every day is Thanksgiving for me."
I don't know the circumstances of his life, but I know that his employment in our office is a transition to help him get back on his feet from a place I can't imagine.
I was humbled. And so very grateful.
A few years ago when Jake was in preschool, as an introduction to the holiday his teachers asked for what he was thankful. Thoughtful as always, remembering that his Mommy had not allocated time or groceries to put together a proper lunch that morning and instead (gasp!) purchased his lunch from the school, he gave thanks for Macaroni & Cheese.
This year, Ellie shared in her preschool class that she is most thankful for giraffes. If pressed, she'll tell you that actually she's thankful for giraffes, zebras, lions and bears. And tigers. But mostly giraffes.
You'll note that the prominent figure at the left of the page is his representation of me - pretty close on the hair, don't you think? I believe that Daddy is to the right, and the figures below might be Jake, Ellie and the dog, but I'm not sure which is which.
Take that Mac & Cheese.
I am thankful that my boy has grown from appreciating lunch to love, that more than toys, games, amusement parks, or a new bike, he chose to express his gratitude for that which I, too, hold most dear - our family.
I am thankful for my husband, my hero, who humors my whims, offers unfailing support of my dreams, and after all these years together, still makes me feel the same as when I fell in love with him.
I am thankful for our families who shower our children with their time and affection.
I am thankful for the schools we've entrusted to educate our children. I am pleasantly reminded, more often than I'd even ask, of what great choices we've made.
I am thankful for our health, our home, and for all the love and laughter in our lives.
And yes, sometimes I am also thankful for macaroni and cheese.