I am holding my upset four year old. He cries, sobs into my chest, and I can feel his tears soaking through my shirt.
He is upset and I don’t know why. He can’t tell me, because George does not have many words. He uses Mama and Daddy frequently, sometimes a Yay or a go.
I look around to asses the mess and think about the things that still need to get done today: The dishes, the laundry, the whole big clean, baking the Challah and writing invitations. I am feeling ungrateful.
I close my eyes and remember how lucky I am, how our life is so much better than the life most people live.
On we go with a grateful heart. Let’s try that again.
I am grateful that I am holding my sobbing baby, because he feels safe with me, because he comes to me when he is upset. I am grateful for his weight making my back ache, because I am one of the lucky mothers who can hold her child. He is here, with us.
Next are the dishes. I am grateful for those, too, because we have food to eat. I am grateful that I can easily spend ten minutes picking up toys at the end of the day.
I am grateful for all the noise in our home today, because it is happy noise, the noise of children playing.
I feel much better now, and George seems to sense my calmness. He wiggles out of my arms and takes my hand.
He pulls me to the chest of drawers again.
The drawer is still empty and I still don’t know what he wants. We try the Playmobil car, the train, his favourite red racecar and his monkey Momo.
Still nothing. I move the chest of drawers to look behind it, pick up the few cars that fell behind it earlier, but they are not what Boo is looking for. He is starting to get upset again, leading me to the sofa.
I move the cushions, trying to work out what he is looking for.
At that moment Arthur joins us, carrying a dress-up elf hat.
George takes the hat and puts it on.
Smiling he climbs off the sofa and says: Thank you.
And that brand new word, it just sums it up. Gratitude changes everything.
Our life is not always easy, but it is always good, and there is always something to be grateful for.
This week I am grateful for tea, a peaceful moment.
I am grateful for taking a leap of faith, for reaching out, for re-connecting and for getting together with friends and family. I am grateful for making plans and writing invitations.
I am grateful for days spent saying yes, for the fun that comes with that,
I am grateful for craft supplies in the post and for painting with banana peels.
I am grateful for talking on the phone to family far away and for a sister who has booked her flight to see us soon.
What are you grateful for today?