So, it's that time of year when we take a moment to think about what it is for which we are grateful. Besides being grateful for understanding the rule of dangling participles (see previous sentence--and if you still don't get it, take a grammar refresher), and the fact that Kahlua and coffee is a damn fine combination, there are a few more things on that list. I'm not really the kid of person to say this crap--so better to write it here and then hide away with my blushes:
I am grateful for:
1) Motherhood. As much as I may bitch and moan and wish every morning for those pre-baby days of sleeping in and having responsibility to NO ONE, it has changed me for the better. While I may miss the carefree days of being able to pop out and do what ever activity struck me 2 minutes ago, it has mellowed me a little. It is the ultimate "hey! Think about someone else!" lesson you can get, and I do what I can to not only keep my son alive day-to-day, but to take that energy and give it to others as well. You might say it’s the ultimate pair of big girl panties you can get, and they are strapped on with duct tape and love.
2) Marriage. Again-as much as I piss and moan… well, that's not true. I'm of the opinion that bitching and moaning about one's marriage partner is overrated. Is my husband perfect? Hardly. But neither am I. The beauty of marriage is that you HAVE to deal with those imperfections, and that you know the other person is dealing with yours. I always know that, no matter what, my husband has my back, and that I can bring anything to him, positive or negative, and he will listen. Like when I tell him later today that there is no Peach Schnapps in this house. He will listen carefully before checking the bar and then writing it on the grocery list. But seriously, he's the only one whose been brave enough to deal with my baggage, and there's no one else with whom I'd rather grow wrinkly.
3) Family. This word perhaps has different meaning for me than for others. I don't just mean blood--because I think family is something bigger and greater than DNA. It’s the unconditionality that some people give you, no matter what. It's knowing that you are always home when you are with people that love you. It is taking the time to lift people up when they need it, and accepting them for just who they are. That's how I'm raising my son to look at it anyway. And while he obviously loves his Savta and Grandma, he also unconditionally loves all his "aunties" and "uncles"--and yes--that includes my favorite checker at Ralphs. Love is love, without strings, without judgment.
(and yes Manny, that includes you too! This family wouldn't be whole without you watching over our safety!)
4) intellect: I like that I have the ability, and freedom to think what I want. And to express it. And to just USE it. I don't have to be told by my government or media how to think--I gained that right when I began to make my own decisions. And nothing irks me more than to have someone take time out of their day to try to convince me to think like they do--and I mean in a harsh--"you should think like this" way, and not the "hey, this is how I live" way. I like taking time to make decisions, I like rolling an idea around in my head for a while, chewing on it, arguing with it, savoring it, rejecting it, and ultimately making peace with it. That's what the brain is for. Not to hold useless facts and regurgitate inanities. Any idiot with a keyboard and the internet can do that. It's what you DO with those facts that matter.
5) Difference. Autism came into our lives, and spent a good amount of time bitch slapping me until I acknowledged it's presence. And there are days when I wish she would just chill out for a moment so that I can catch my breath, and to spare my son the agonizing frustration he ultimately feels when he cannot communicate his needs, or when life is just to goddamn intense. But at the end of the day--even those hellish ones--I am grateful for who he is, warts and all. He will always see the world differently than I do, and I will spend the rest of my life being privy to that view. He is my constant reminder that we cannot all be perfect, and without our differences, we would be the most boring race in the universe. He may discover something none of us ever thought about, or he may compose a piece of music no one has ever heard before. He may have the right temperament to make the sacrifices needed to live on another planet, for all I know. He is amazing, and I am grateful for everyday he puts his little hand in mine.
Now, for my usual readers, I suppose this is where I am supposed to remark that I am also grateful for happy hour and a lock on the bathroom door. And I am. But I think those are gimmes. And in the end they are just things. Which are nice to have, but ultimately transitory. This house could burn down--but I'd still have all the things for which I am grateful--and that's all that matters to me.
(not to say I am wishing for disaster. it would still suck.)
So, while you gather around the table to celebrate our American holiday of gluttony--take a moment to give thanks--and not only that Aunt Hester brought more than one bottle of wine. Happy Thanksgiving!