Thanksgiving is here! Social media channels are filled with gratitude, “thankfulness challenges,” and butter-laden recipes. Families are preparing to gather around golden turkeys and pumpkin pie to share this year’s, “I am grateful for....” Now that I have four of my own children sitting around our grocery-store-harvested dinner, I see that there are many things they miss. Yes it is cute and even warms my momma heart when they say things like “faith, family, and friends,” but I pray they would not be blind to the many other blessings that make their lives flow smoothly.
I polled some friends, observed my own children, and we all agree the younger generation has missed out on being grateful for many things at multiple ages. Here are a few of the obvious (but overlooked) gifts our little ones should be grateful for on Turkey Day this year.
- Mom stayed sane while being sleep-deprived for an amount of time so extensive that in any other situation it would be considered a torture technique.
- Coffee is highly available. They don’t drink it, but they should be grateful I do. The caffeinated goodness helps me process their tiny cries and coos with love, instead of staring at them blankly, desperately trying to will them back to sleep.
- They are so stinking adorable (usually). Their precious human cuteness is a built-in survival mechanism. Think about it; when else in life can they do what they do, and get away with a mere “Sowwy…”?
- I wipe their buns. ‘Nuff said.
- They get to take naps. Why must they fight me?! I long for someone to gently pat my back and tell me, “It’s nap time sweetie. Go lay down.”
- I act as their human handkerchief. From spit up to snot, goo always seems to find its way to my shoulder, pant leg, or sleeve.
- Daddy relearned all the correct letter sounds to help them learn to read. Let’s be honest: the difference between G and J is a little tricky.
- I have mastered the skill of catching their vomit. Whether diving at them, bucket in hand, or instinctively putting my hands out to protect the carpet, this deserves thanks. PSA: Carry a gallon-sized Ziploc bag in your purse/car/diaper bag all flu season. This will significantly lower the chances of that bodily-fluids-in-hands thing.
- I can identify when they forge my signature on their reading logs. Without this keen eye they could have been headed for a lifetime of crime.
- They have spell check. While spell check has its limits, reading a typed paper from a second grader has never been easier.
- Cleaning wipes abound. They have no idea how their chores have been revolutionized by this modern day disinfectant arsenal.
- They are in the sweet spot for kid attractions. They can ride both roller coasters at Disneyland and are still small enough for fast food play structures.
- Someone reminds them to bathe. That stench should have been indication enough, but it wasn’t.
- They have never lived a day without the internet’s existence. Tales of my childhood research papers without it are my version of “I hiked uphill five miles through the snow to get to school.”
- Their parents have adult friendships. Though they might not believe it, it is possible to have relationships without all that DRAMA.
- I actually had that talk about the hair and other pubescent changes. I am pretty sure they would have been convinced they were dying otherwise.
- I actually understand and speak their “language”, and use it in context, bruh. I think it’s pretty sick.
- I let them experience the consequences to those dumb choices now. Well…you won’t do that again.
- Excessive eye rolling doesn’t cause permanent brain damage.
- The passenger seat doesn’t double as an ejector seat for when they duck down in embarrassment (so their friends don’t see them in the car with me).
I am sure there are many more, but my Thanksgiving table has been surrounded with highchairs and pimple-sprinkled faces alike. For that I will always be grateful.
The original version of this post first appeared at Portland Moms Blog.