This is Tuesday, so I am joining in the Thankful Tuesday party over at Micha Boyett’s blog, Mama: Monk . Last night, as I was trying hard to wrestle specific thankfulness from this week on my walk up the street to my Monday night meditation group, I picked up some colourful fall leaves to lay on the table with the candle. I could, I thought, be thankful about these leaves, that we live in a region where seasons change and leaves fall. But I don’t feel particularly thankful (or not thankful for that matter) about these particular leaves. And, besides, this being 31 for 21, I wanted to write about Down syndrome, about the little things in this week, in this week in Jessie’s life that I am grateful for. But it was hard to feel thanks having left the house in what my mother would call a “snit.” Because anger and frustration taint thankfulness and turn it into a snarky kind of adolescent “oh-yea-like-as-if” attitude that transforms any feelings of natural gratitude into practiced disdain.
The cause of my snit was having to leave the house without having eaten. The root cause was Jessie not having prepared dinner on time. She was on dinner duty and got the rice on and the oven heating up for the salmon, but then got distracted on her computer watching TV shows on YouTube and didn’t end up either turning the rice off or putting the salmon in before I left. I was, well, mightily pissed off. And I let her know it. That here she was wanting to up her independence skills in preparation for moving out, but she repeatedly forgets to finish what she is doing. That she thinks that I will do it for her and pick up the pieces, that she can just leave things cooking and think nothing will happen, that her desire to watch TV trumps anything else going on in the house, that . . . etc. I do that sometimes. I rant and come at describing the problem from every conceivable angle, bombarding her in my attempt to find one way that will hit home with her. Make her see the error of her ways! (oh yes, I am very good at being right and annoyingly self-righteous, I am THAT mother!)
So for today, through the misadventure into adulthood, I am thankful for all the opportunities that hold me up and help me discern my way through the minefield:
- For my meditation group, that allows me to traipse through fall leaves to sit in candlelight with an odd collection of people who hold me up in silence, and crack me open to God, even when I am feeling my most small, miserable, and unworthy
- For random (okay, not so) words of healing, just the right words at the right time from a randomly picked track off a CD that proclaims “it is good” and dares us, encourages us to find our own Genesis story of goodness in our hearts and our lives
- For Jessie’s willingness to forgive—over and over and over again; and to try—over and over and over again. She never gives up, and I am (most often) grateful for that.
- For the chance to work at this—at growing up and leading Jessie to herself and helping her reach her dreams—until we get some measure of it right, or until I learn what it is I am supposed to be learning but doing such a strange job of it. Is it letting go? And how much? And how? And, oh please give me another chance to learn this, maybe better, tomorrow.
- For tomorrows. For as blessed as today is, we have been gifted with new days, new hours, sometimes new minutes that encourage us to let go of old angers and fears, or at least start fresh with a promise of forgiveness.
- For friends, who laugh when you share a day by email and promise that they will not call children’s aid on you, and promise (and you believe them) that tomorrow will be a different day, and assure you that this is what parents do, what all parents do, as their kids become adults. They groan and brag and worry and wonder and get to go out for coffee and maybe even canoe trips with friends.
- For spouses who back you up, or call you out, or just don’t say anything because they are very perceptive (what does this situation need now?) and honest (yup, not the best approach hon) and the best partners ever (we’ll figure it out together).
So. What are you thankful for?