November Thanks #21 | 3 Gifts Family

A thirty-day exercise in pausing, reflecting, appreciating, and giving thanks for simple things.

I didn’t appreciate my mom and dad because I was a child and I didn’t want to follow the rules and didn’t want to get up early on Saturdays to do chores and didn’t want to clean my room. I was so young and so naive. It’s true you know. You never really appreciate something until it is gone. Long ago I lost count of the number of times in my life when I’ve wished to have them here with me to ask a question, to seek their guidance, to get their affirmation. I’ve tried to teach my children to honor their parents, to be grateful their parents are alive, to stay in love with their parents. It’s an easier lesson for some to learn than others.

“You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ’em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.”

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Creating a family is such an exhausting, exhilarating, overwhelming, rewarding experience. My four daughters and two stepdaughters have taught me so much, some of it unintentionally. And I have gained skills as a result of being a parent that other adults who have never parented don’t have. I am who I am because of my children. And I will be a mother until the day I die.

Becoming a grandparent is twofold. You get to see the rewards of all the hard work you did as a parent as you watch your own child parent. It’s even better when you hear your own words out of your child’s mouth as she parents her own child. But you also get the undefinable joy of interacting with a child without having the burden of parenting. It is incredibly liberating and I find I am allowed to be me simply because I am not the mom.

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