It's that time of year. You know what I mean. When a flurry of family blusters in to town. When Aunty so-and-so and Grandma such-and-such make their once a year concoction that is bound to add inches to your waist and take years off your life. When every germy hand wants to squeeze your baby and somehow, you wind up sicker that everyone else.
Holiday time has always felt a bit ominous to me. While I was still in school, I was consumed with end of the semester papers and studying for finals. Working in retail meant your feet were sore from Black Friday to New Year's Day - and you always arrived late or had to leave a festive gathering early to get to the mall.... to work. As a fundraiser?? Don't get me started on the pressure this time of year brings - people estimate that anywhere from 35%-50% of a nonprofit's charitable contributions come in during November and December. Nothing like a bit of stress and intimidation to make you a bit grinchy.
But now, I'm a mom. And I suspect this year will be much different.
I'm hoping Cam can enjoy a little bit of the healthier Thanksgiving fare - I think I'll puree a little bit of turkey with fresh cranberry sauce and maybe give him a small taste of sweet potato pie. Already, I'm wondering what to fill his stocking with and what little toys he'll be excited to find under the tree. I'm sure he'll enjoy the boxes, wrapping paper and bows much more that any little gift he'll receive. He'll probably visit his great grandparents and get spoiled by his older cousins. I can't wait till he gets to play with his first snow (aunt Erica already bought him a snowsuit to play in!) and make snow angels with Brian and snow doggies with Mowgli.
While Brian and I aren't practicing any particular religion, we do think it's important for Cameron to understand and feel the spirit of the season - sharing, generosity, love, gathering, giving, growing, a little bit of indulging and being grateful for the joy in your life. Even though he's little and won't remember any of this, I will.... and I want to share all of my joy and my love and my gratefulness with him and Brian (and Mowgli too!)
If I started to write about all the things I'm thankful for, this blog post would never end. So I'll say this - really, I'm thankful for everything. You have to take the bad with the good. The bad makes the good great and the bitter makes for the sweetest sweet moments. I am thankful for everything.
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy
"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie