Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving’

Today is the day before Thanksgiving, and so we are surrounded by reminders to be thankful and aware of our blessings.  Television, newspapers, blogs, and social networks are full of declarations of what we should be grateful for, and yet everywhere I turn I see cranky faces and harried people rushing around to get things done.  That is, until I stopped by to see my godson to wish him a very happy fifth birthday.

Nate Malia is a quirky little fellow, filled with energy, imagination, and a vocabulary that rivals most adults. He is absolutely one of my favorite people on this planet, and his beaming face and pure joy hit me like a tornado when I walked through the door.  I thought to myself, hmmm, if we could all see the world through his lens, perhaps we wouldn’t have to try so hard to be grateful and thankful and filled with joy, it would just be what we were, our constant.  So with that in mind, I have written what I believe Nate innately has on his gratitude list.  Perhaps this five year old has some insight that we can all benefit from.

1. Dry pants- As Nate navigates the perils of potty training, it is easy to see the pure relief and joy when he is clean and dry.  Now I may not have thought this relevant a while back, but I have found that of late a good hearty sneeze is cause for some concern in this department.  I would be lying if I did not say that dry pants at the end of a sneezing fit is reason for celebration on my part.

2. People who are happy to see you- Nate is still at the age where everywhere he goes, people are pretty happy to see him.  He goes to school and is greeted with enthusiasm at the door, he comes home to parents who have missed him, his friends are very excited whenever there is a play date; and at each of these moments his face lights up and his bum does a little happy wiggle.  Now as grown ups, it is rare that someone squeals with delight when they see you, rare, but it does happen sometimes.  Nate has reminded me what that feels like, he has taken to squealing and dancing at the top of the stairs whenever I come over, this is followed by him flinging himself at me and giving me hugs and kisses.  We should all take a moment to recognize and feel good about those moments when our arrival has really made someones day.  I guarantee you there is a friend or relative that would love to see you right now.

3. One or two really good toys- We get obsessed sometimes with having the newest, the latest, the best version of whatever we consider our “toys”, we barely use what we were so enamored with a week ago and we are off to find our next material fix. Nate  is surrounded by toys of all types but he can most often be found with the same two items.  In one hand, taggy; a square of blanket with a number of silky tags sewn around the edges, and  in the other,a small plastic Woody action figure from the movie Toy Story.  The taggy is worn and the action figure is missing part of one leg and one arm. But for Nate this doesn’t detract from their worth; one provides tactile comfort and the other is a beloved friend.  There is something to be said for the pure sentimentality and love that transcends newness or perfection.  Look around your world and enjoy the comfort of something that has sentimental meaning for you, has served you well.   Let that fill the space inside you that is typically reserved for consumerism.

4. A nice bath and clean jammies- When Nate comes running out of the bathroom after his nightly bath, smelling yummy, squeaky clean, in his favorite super hero pj’s, he is about as happy as a person can be.  There is just something magical in warm water, scented soap, fluffy towels and your favorite bedtime apparel.  Why don’t we take the time to do that more often?  So many nights wasted on mindless tv or internet surfing when we could be soothing our souls.

5. A good snack- Nate has not yet developed an unhealthy relationship with food.  To him a good snack is one of the highlights of his day, not because he his feeding his unhappiness or using food as a reward, but simply because it tastes good and he was hungry.  Wouldn’t it be lovely if all of us stopped thinking of food as either our enemy or as a replacement for one emotion or another.  How refreshing to simply enjoy it when it is needed, and to appreciate that we are not going without.

6. Snuggles- When Nate is having a moment where joy does not come as easily, his solution is to have me to lay on the couch and for him to climb up on to my body until he is practically sitting on my shoulder.  He will clutch his taggy with one hand and twirl my hair with his other.  I confess I get as much or more out of these sessions as he does.  That tiny hand playing with my hair is heaven on earth.  Fair warning, I am going to start snuggling a bit more indiscriminately, If you are a friend, you may fall victim.

7. A good nap- Seriously, who isn’t better after a good nap? Nate is aware of their healing properties and I will try to stay aware of that as well. Nap people, nap! And then don’t feel guilty about it, feel grateful that you got a moment to recharge.  The world would be a far better place if we all got a little more rest.

Armed with this new insight, I will spend Thanksgiving with people who are always happy to see me, enjoy delicious food, take a nap, snuggle at least one person if not more, try not to sneeze, and be happy for the things already in my possession. I will end the day with a nice bath and my favorite pajamas.  Happy Thanksgiving!