Searching for Thanks

I was always taught to be thankful for all that I had. My parents taught me the art of appreciation early and it was something that was ever present in our home. So it was no surprise that one of Nico’s first ever phrases was “thank you.” He may not have been able to say much (and still can’t), but he knew that whatever he was given he must be thankful for it.

Nico says “thank you” every day. He knows to say it every time he is assisted or given something. It may be one of the few things he can say, but it puts a smile on my face each time I hear it because he understands he has a lot to be thankful for (even if I still feel like he deserves infinitely more than I could ever give him). The hilarious thing is…he also definitely knows how to say “no thanks” whenever he is disinterested in hearing what I have to say, when I offer him any food or drink other than his staples– goldfish crackers or his favorite juice, or when he doesn’t want to do something. “Thanks” is certainly something of which my son has a firm grasp.

But, this year has really tested MY ability to be thankful. I hate to even say that because I do have so much to be thankful for and I know that; however, the hits my family has taken coupled with all that this pandemic has done to Nico’s progress has had me searching long and hard for thanks in every corner of my home and heart.

So, as I sat back and reflected on this year’s Thanksgiving aka “Thirsty Thursday” (as my cousin and I had decided to affectionately rename it in protest) and racked my brain for all of the things that I knew I should be thankful for (with my ___th glass of wine in hand) I decided to, instead, send some happiness and thanks out to those who may have also found it hard to be thankful this year as they battle a case of the “2020s.” Here you go!

Happy “Thangstgiving” …

  • to anyone who woke up on Thanksgiving and felt no sense of urgency to prep, cook, host, or be social due to it just not feeling like Thanksgiving this year. I feel you.
  • to anyone grieving the loss of loved ones, especially those who were taken way too soon by this merciless virus. I’m grieving with you.
  • to anyone who chose to socially distance instead of gather for the holiday and have faced criticism or backlash. I appreciate you.
  • to anyone who is feeling lonely and detached from everything and everyone due to this awful pandemic. I am here for you.
  • to anyone who secretly liked not having to gather up for the holiday because of being a homebody or because it’s hard to manage and causes anxiety. I know someone just like you.
  • to anyone who chose to keep Thanksgiving small and casual with just the people in your home. I commend you.
  • to anyone who is missing family and friends terribly and was hoping the holidays would finally allow for togetherness. I completely empathize with you.
  • to anyone who decided to start new holiday traditions in an effort to stay positive. I may have to follow your lead (just a few days late).
  • to anyone who said the hell with making a turkey and went rogue with their menu. I think you’re a badass.
  • to anyone who chose to gather with family and friends, but wore a mask and/or sat six feet apart. I applaud you.
  • to anyone who planned a Zoom Thanksgiving or FaceTime Feast so it felt like you were all dining as one big happy family. I think you’re awesome.
  • to anyone who is praying for this year to be over and taking it one day at a time. I have you beat..I’m taking it one hour at a time.
  • to anyone who needs a virtual hug, elbow bump, air high-five, and some extra lovin’. I am sending all of it your way.
  • to anyone who accepts that this year looks and feels different, but knows that better days are coming. I know you’re right.

I know I am not alone in my feelings of disappointment, angst, and despair when it comes to how this year has treated many of us. You can’t turn on the television without seeing the abysmal statistics and personal stories of heartache. But, better days are upon us. I can feel it. We just have to cling to everyone and everything that give us strength and hope and keep us thankful.

My boys, big and small are doing that for me. My Nico and the little triumphs he is making throughout this precarious virtual school year are what keep me upbeat. Knowing he is connecting with his baby brother more and more each day is proof that even in the midst of dire straights and endless challenges there is always something to be thankful for. This pandemic has given us the gift of time which is what my Nico lives by…his own time. And, the time I’ve had with my husband to reflect on the enormity of our struggles this year; yet, still stay focused on getting back on track and back in our (rebuilt) home. I am immensely thankful for that.

As we countdown to Christmas and the new year ahead, I hope that despair and frustration make way for resilience and renewal, which will allow for greater ease in finding things to be thankful for in the months to come. 2021 is just around the corner and I hope it ushers in health, harmony, and prosperity for all of us. It’s got a strong head start with all the glass that’s been shattered, that’s for sure. Don’t forget to wear shoes, my ladies! 👠

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