Friday, March 11, 2011

Monkeys on my back and pixies under the bed

I have set a personal goal to express more gratitude for the many blessings I have in my life.  Sometimes this is very easy ("Oh honey, thank you for the flowers, they're beautiful!"), other times, not so much ("What an interesting drawing you made on the wall, baby").  When it comes to my children, it's a crazy mixed bag of emotions and actions that frequently leaves me astonished.

My two boys are incredibly smart (that's not just mother's pride talking, they outsmart me and my husband all the time) and very cute.  They have, from the moment they were born, reminded me of faeries.  They both have elfin features and mischievous senses of humor.  These two get under my skin faster than anything, but also make me laugh more than I ever have.  They think of the most fascinating (and frequently annoying and/or messy) things to do with their time.  They take delight in things that I sometimes don't notice (like unopened flower buds or leaves on the ground); they test my patience and my knowledge of the world.  Without them, I would have no reason to  read "Skippyjon Jones and the curse of the Catmummy" in a silly voice.

Today, I am making a conscious effort to be grateful for their pixy-like laughter when they find a new way to tease me and for their little monkey toes that help them climb everything.  Without them, I wouldn't know how warm and sweet a sleeping child is.  I wouldn't worry as much about how my actions affect the future.  Thanks to them, I laugh more and enjoy sunshine in a way I never did before them.  I appreciate the way they are a mix of my husband and I along with their own spark of individuality.  Today, I am embracing the insanity they bring with them and enjoying their energy, at least until bedtime (at which point I will collapse in my bed and be grateful to have survived their exuberance).

Choose something to be grateful for: your significant other, your children, your pet, your parents, your job, the tree outside your window, sunshine, whatever.  Focus a minute or two on feeling grateful for it's existence in your life.  I was amazed at how much pleasure I got out of my relationship with my children, when I began to try to feel gratitude for them, instead of the usual day to day irritations they cause.

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