11.22.2012

giving thanks.

There's always so much to be thankful for, but especially this year. There's so much to be done as Thanksgiving preparations get underway, but I wanted to take a few moments to touch on the things I'm especially thankful for this year.

HOME

I'm thankful for the opportunity to have grown up in culture-rich South Florida, the daughter of two parents also born and raised here, and also to be raising my son here as well. I'm thankful for the sprawling downtown areas and the big cities and glitz and glamor and especially the short car ride back to the quiet suburbs where I can retreat back to when it all becomes too much. I'm thankful for the beaches which early on any given morning can make you feel like you're the only person in the world, surrounded by beauty and the ocean and only seeing seashells for miles. I'm thankful for the top-rated schools in our district and the opportunities at my fingertips and the diversity to teach my son the ways of the world outside of his own home. I'm thankful for the safety and the green grass and the palm trees and the fresh air and the short drive down a rural road from civilization to the Florida Everglades. I'm thankful for the nature and the wildlife and the fact that no matter how close your zero lot line home is to your neighbor amongst a suburban sprawl of subdivisions, a rainstorm always means tree frogs hopping across your driveway.

FRIENDS

I'm thankful for our friends, all of them, those in these photograph and those not (if I were to include photographs of all of our wonderful friends, this post would seemingly never end), those near and far, those we knew before Ethan and those having Ethan helped me find. I find myself lucky enough these days to have a large number of truly wonderful friends, including those I've had for most of my life and also those I've met recently. My adult life, my life as a parent and even my life as a blogger here have helped me to develop so many truly incredible friendships and I'm so very thankful for them all. To the friends we see almost every single day, the friends who we see only a few times a year, the friends who we are forced to communicate with solely through e-mail or phone conversations due to distance or the friends here in "blogland" I have not yet physically met, I am thankful for all of you for making such a difference in our lives whether you realize it or not.

NEA

I already mentioned being thankful for my friends, but I had to point out one friend in particular. You see, when you ask my friend Nea if she has any children, she always answers that she does and with that means Ethan. Nea has always loved Ethan as if he were her own, always caring about his health and wellbeing and happiness, always ensuring he has the right clothing or even the silverware that he prefers. Nea has been there from the time Ethan was born and throughout all of the special times after that, good and bad, times of celebration and times of crisis. Growing up, my mom always had a best friend who we grew up referring to as our aunt, her husband our uncle and her children my cousins. Still to this day, that is the way I consider them, more like family than friends. Nea is just that to Ethan -- aunt Nea -- as much family as anyone could be, loving him as if he was family and us loving her as if she was family, too. With Nea, all endeavors are fun and I am thankful for all of the laughter she's brought to Ethan's life so far and will continue to bring.

ETHAN'S TEACHERS

Ethan has been fortunate enough to attend some fabulous mommy and me classes which are not only wonderful due to curriculum, but due to the teachers who lead them. I'm thankful for Miss Susan's Kindermusik and for Mr. Lee and Miss Karen's My Gym classes, thankful for the confidence they instill in my shy little boy and the you can do anything attitude they help him find. Thankful for the creativity and the play and the love and warmth they teach him with, never telling him that his own special way is wrong but encouraging him to keep following his heart. I am thankful for the way they love him and guide him and provide him with a safe place to play and grow and be.

OUR CATS

Alright, there's some level of shame you're apparently supposed to feel when your "cat count" exceeds a certain number but I say the more, the merrier and stick by it. Where would I be without these four crazy, cuddly -- okay, crazy mostly -- furchildren? Sweet Landon who rescued us that day in 2004 when my husband and I were just making our post-high school lives together. She was the glue that held our relationship and family together, the matriarch of our family, the sweet soul we got to nurture up from the hands of abuse to a home of warmth and love. Amelia who did not burn to the ground with the rest of her pre-us home but lived to bring warmth and light to our lives, always offering us a place to snuggle or a massive, furry body to cuddle. Jagger, who years later refuses to let us touch her, who still acts as if we're strangers despite the years that have gone by, who is still a dark and mysterious creature with glowing green eyes after all this time -- but she is safe, and she is loved, and I swear she must know it in her own special way. And Kennedy, goodness gracious, the forever-a-kitten devil in gray fur, the Curious George of cats, the ball of energy who thinks 2 a.m. is a perfect time to play blanket monster with our toes. Our lives would be significantly more boring without her -- maybe significantly less bloody, too -- but who likes boring, anyway?

MY HUSBAND

I am always so quick to give my husband a hard time -- sometimes he makes it so easy -- but I am so thankful for him as a husband, a partner, a friend and the father he is to our son. When I first met him back in the fall of 2001, the first day of my 10th grade year and his 11th, I declared I was going to marry him. Even if this declaration came riding on the heels of locking eyes with the cute boy with the argyle socks who played bass guitar in a band, it didn't take long to be backed up by the fact that we were able to create a foundation for a lasting relationship that exceeded high school and even college. He was my boyfriend before I turned 16 and I loved him before I could even drive a car, and how thankful I am to have had the opportunity to grow up alongside my best friend. How thankful I am to have been able to reach milestones with him by my side, to watch him get his master's degree and find his place in a career he loves that my artsy free-spirited self will likely never understand, to watch him grow to be the kind of dad who doesn't even change out of his work clothes before falling to the ground to play with Ethan, the kind of dad who sees vacation days as the perfect days to take Ethan to our mommy-and-me classes or jumping around at Monkey Joe's.

MY FAMILY

I am so thankful for these crazy bunch of weirdos that I'm able to call my family. Thankful to grow up alongside love and with parents who knew how to be fun. I'm thankful for growing up in the house that all of the kids wanted to come to, the house where it was okay to make a mess and my mom always served the best food and the house where there was always laughter and voices echoing through the halls and rarely -- very, very rarely -- was there ever quiet. Growing up, my grandmother was one of my closest friends, the person I called (upwards of 15 times a day) when I discovered a new song I loved or a poem I wrote or a twenty-five page essay I wrote that I wanted her to hear. I'm thankful that my parents are that to Ethan -- sources of inspiration and laughter, a trusted opinion, a warm place to go for a hug and love and kindness. Thankful that Ethan wakes up and asks immediately for both cheese and mamba (Grandma), thankful for the enrichment and joy they bring to his life always. I'm thankful for my sister even throughout her gloomy teenage years, thankful for the original second shot at childhood she gave me as a sister a decade younger than I am, for the laughs and the fun and the sleepovers -- and for the uproars of laughter she can bring forth in Ethan, who thinks she is just the neatest, funniest person in the whole world (especially when she's not trying to be).

ETHAN

And oh how very thankful I am for this sweet little boy who made me a mommy. He breathed a new life, a new sense of life, a new feeling of purpose and meaning into my world the moment he took his first breath. He is the inspiration in all that I do, in all that I strive to be, in all that I dream of. He is everything in this world to me in ways I never imagined another person could ever be. He is the beautiful boy with tousled golden hair and eyes so bright and blue, the beautiful boy who I get to hold and love for the rest of my days on this Earth. He is every bit of love and goodness and beauty in this world, showing me beauty and teaching me lessons despite the fact he's not even a year and a half old yet. I am so thankful for him, for his kisses, for his breathy, tired sighs before bedtime, for his hugs, for his laughter, for his strongwilled personality and the way he lays flat on the floor like a board if he doesn't want to do something, for his sweet shyness, for the way he says "oh wow" when something really impresses him, for the beautiful way he sees the world around him. I am thankful that he chose me to be his mother, to be the one to guide and teach and raise him and I am thankful for the opportunity to do so.

To everyone out there, I hope your Thanksgiving day is filled with the love of friends and family. Wishing everyone out there beauty and light and love and may your holiday be truly wonderful. ♥

8 comments:

  1. I second you on us living in beautiful south Florida!!! There is nothing better!!!! Have a wonderful thanksgiving with the hubby, Ethan, and the rest of your family!!

    Xo,
    Yesi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely nothing better! <3

      Hope your holiday was great!

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  2. Oh my, Lindsay, there is so much goodness in this post! It sounds like you are one blessed woman, for sure.

    Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving full of fun, family, and all your cats!

    <3
    Sar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely, definitely am! <3

      Thank you SO much (and from the kitties, too!)

      Delete
  3. LOL that picture of your family is the best. Your sister's face contrasted with your parents is hilarious

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  4. Oh Lindsey this is so so beautiful. I'm so glad that you gave me a glimpse into your gratitude - it brought tears to my eyes, really. I imagine that all of these great people that you love so much are thanking their lucky starts for you on this Thanksgiving. xo - Monica

    ReplyDelete

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