As an experiment in gratitude, and relating to Thanksgiving, I am dedicating this month to a different thing each day that I am grateful for, and on that day I will try to work in some way to give a little extra appreciation for that thing.
So this is Day 1, and I can't think of anything better to celebrate today than my kids.
I love this photo of my kids. It's from a few years ago and it reminds me of a lot of things that I adore about them, and a lot of things that are important when you're a parent. What I remember about that day is that I had limited time and was rushing to take some photos of them on a Saturday and I was trying to get photos to use for a Christmas card. There was some complaining about the clothes I had picked out for them and there was also some difficulty in the photo shoot itself. At various times one or the other of them were a little grumpy and wanted it to be over. But in the midst of all of that - in the midst of some chaos and imperfection and irritation - they were funny, and fun and cute and a joy to be around. I found myself laughing unexpectedly at moments like this where Brennan spontaneously decided to break out the "rock on" stance while his siblings looked on in slight confusion. It's one of those moments when you realize as a parent "my life is perfect right now in this moment, even though it is NOT perfect." We should all have more moments like that every day.
I remember showing the photos to the kids' dad and he expressed some doubt about the quality of what I'd done. I think in his mind, these did not look like Christmas photos, they weren't funny enough, nor were they serious enough, they looked - well, they looked like what they were - rushed and in the middle of a hectic day and everything was slightly fly by the seat of our pants. There was no single photo where every kid looked perfect at the same time.
But even then I sort of knew - it's not about that. Life is never like that and kids are never like that. I have always looked at these photos as a brief moment in time where everything actually was perfect because I saw it for what it was, and that was pretty great.
Today sort of worked out that things fell in line and we had time for the kids and I to grab some food together at a restaurant and see a movie together. It was another fly by the seat of our pants moment. Sometimes you have to just take advantage of a moment like that when you can. And it fit perfectly with my goal of being more grateful and celebrating my chosen gratitude of the day.
In the car driving home there was laughing, even some punching and some teasing in the back seat. They aren't little kids anymore but that stuff never seems to really go away. These days, if I have a moment with the 3 of them together, it's really precious to me because I don't think that these moments are going to last long.
They are 3 amazing individuals and I feel extraordinarly grateful they are mine.