Thankful for…

Pam of Rhett’s Journey tagged me while ago, and it took me some time (this happens a lot!) to figure out what I mean to say.

I’m thankful everyday for everything: I never imagined I could have a husband like Tom, or that I’d be the mother to 3 such terrific little people. My family is large (I have an expanded definition of family and you all are included!) and diverse and amazing and inspiring. And I have all the important things to be grateful for: a warm house in winter, a cool one in summer. Food for all of us. Clothes to cover our bodies, shoes and coats and mittens when we need them. Good health. Good work.

All-in-all, good times.

But these things aren’t what I mean to write about, even though I am deeply, profoundly grateful for them. What I want to write about is something that came to me as a bit of a surprise.

Just 4 years ago, when the twins were in the NICU and Avery was diagnosed with Down syndrome and everything, even the expiration date on the yogurt container, seemed full of portent, full of doom, it hurt to hope. It hurt to think that maybe my life might one day feel comfortable to me again; that I might wake to the sun streaming through the windows and think, What’s in store? with a happy sense of expectation. It all seemed like a distant memory–or, in my worst moments, like a cruel illusion.

But I want to say that the thing I am most thankful for is this: the return of hope. In the 4 years since the babies were born, we worked, we worried, we laughed. The babies grew to boys; Carter, to a big-boy. And now, it’s started: I’m dreaming again, wishing for things and imagining the possibilities. It’s always the beginning, for all of us, as long as we have hope.

Instead of tagging someone, I’ll just ask: What are you most thankful for?

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6 thoughts on “Thankful for…

  1. Yes! Yes, yes, yes!

    I remember sitting up in my bed, early in the morning the day after we learned Archie has Down syndrome, thinking, “It’ll never, ever be the same again. It’s all over. How will I ever be joyful again?”

    Of course now I see the folly in that thought, and I’ve learned that joy is so much bigger than a diagnosis ever could be. Thank you for reminding me of what I’ve learned. I love the ah-ha moments I get when I read your posts.

  2. I’m glad I came across your website and I appreciate this post about being thankful. Since my son was born 2 years ago (and I have another one due in January) I have been on a what seems like a never ending treadmill that is running at high speed and I’m not sure if I’m ever again going to arrive at a place where I can take an hour to rest and catch my breath. Between working, taking care of my son, taking care of the house, and managing daily life, I’m always really tired (especially with this pregnancy). And I have wondered if I will ever feel rested again?

    But I can imagine that I will feel rested and hopeful and interested in my own topics again instead of toddler topics (let’s not eat the play doh honey, it’s not good for you, how much water have you poured over the side of the bathtub?) And I appreciate that you do have hope again, I do believe it and I am pretty sure that I will once again, someday (probably a couple of years from now) look back and say “Wow! That went by way too fast! I miss my little guys!”

    Motherhood is such a huge change for me – I love my little guy so much and I miss him when I’m away from him. But (especially being pregnant) I appreciate when I have some time to be sitting in a chair in my office typing on a keyboard, not running around keeping up with him.

    Happy Thanskgiving and thanks for writing!

    Tamara

  3. Like you, I am thankful for the hopeful imagining-the-possibilities feelings, but my story is quite different from yours. We’ve journeyed to the same place by different roads, and even that seems like something to be thankful for.

    I hope you and your amazing boys had a wonderful holiday. So many gifts, more than we could ever count.

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