With Thanksgiving just around the corner I get all warm and fuzzy thinking about my amazing family and how blessed I am to have them all in my life. I’m thankful for the good that comes with the bad and I’m eternally grateful for this large group of “crazies” that I get to call my own. In my reflection, of course I am grateful for my boys. I have shared with you all about them and the things they are doing and the struggles they are overcoming, but this past weekend I was reminded how wonderful it is to have a daughter and what an incredible young lady she truly is. It’s not that I forgot that she’s amazing, it’s just that being in the midst of raising a teenage girl, sometimes I get wrapped up in the drama and serious sass and I forget to look beyond it. I remember when the doctor told me that I was going to have a girl. It was funny because for some reason I just couldn’t believe it. I thought of course they’ve got it wrong and it’s going to end up being another boy, but sure enough the day she was born I said, “wow it really is a girl!”
I was elated. Having four sisters of my own was so special growing up. I always had a friend to hang out with and clothes to steal. I had partners in crime for every shenanigan that we got into. It was, and still is, a true gift in my life. But now I had a daughter of my own. That was scary! How would I teach her to be strong and confident? How would I help her see her inner beauty and outer beauty when the outside influences can be so overwhelming. From the time I held her in my arms, I was hooked. She stole my heart before she was even born, but when I looked down at that tiny little face with a full head of strawberry blonde hair, it was over. I was a goner!
As she began to grow I was protective, but I let her take the lead. She is fiercely independent and always has been. She hated to be confined in any way. She hated strollers and clothes, my little nudist, and she wanted to see what was happening at all times. She napped for about 20 seconds a day and my only saving grace was that she slept really well at night. I guess she needed her energy to be awake all day. Everyone that she met was completely smitten with her and I always said she had a light that seemed to shine from the inside out. I also said, and still say, that she is an old soul. She is wise beyond her years and even now, just shy of sixteen, the way she carries herself and how she relates to others is far more mature than any of the teenagers that I teach on a daily basis. My older sister always calls her Switzerland because she is the peacemaker of the cousins, and she is always looking for ways to help another out, or make the world better. She is adored by her brothers and seriously, it would be nice if I could be like her when I grow up!! Am I biased? Well, of course. I’m pretty sure that I’m supposed to be.
This past weekend she got sick, really sick. Nothing that a few days wouldn’t cure, but a stomach bug grabbed a hold and held on for dear life. This kid was down for the count and it was awful. She is not a big person so she was dehydrated, looked emaciated, and overall pathetic. And then I got sick. I wasn’t nearly as bad as she was, but there we were, two peas in a pod, sitting on a couch wrapped in blankets, healing together. We watched movies, drank Gatorade, talked, laughed, and I was reminded that the sass will pass. To me, she is the most extraordinary human being. She has such a gift of bringing others together and such passion for everything in life. She is an amazing dancer and artist, and dreams of being a surgeon one day, but her compassion is beyond her years and she always puts others before herself. I sat on the couch in awe and in that moment I have never been more grateful to be sick. Sometimes life has a way of slowing us down just long enough to remember that our blessings are staring us right in the face. I wanted that day to last forever.
As you reflect on what you are grateful for this Thanksgiving, stop to enjoy each moment, even the bad ones. Remember that time moves too quickly so appreciate the present. Hug those you love and tell them that you love them. Breathe in every milestone that your children reach because you’re going to blink and they will be grown. Take time to sit on a couch, watch movies, and talk. Life is short, so stop and smell the roses, or in my case, puke. Gross yes, but true! You may realize that leaving laundry in the basket, and dishes in the sink is just fine. Precious moments last for a second and then they’re gone. I am amazed each day at the daughter that I have and I now realize that I had nothing to worry about. She is the one teaching me. Her strength is all her own! Her confidence is from within and I am so thankful, deep down to the core of my soul thankful!
May you have the most wonderful Thanksgiving and may you enjoy all of the blessings around you! May you smell the puke and realize the lesson in that! Cheers to the crazy in your life!! And that’s my dish!