Today I am grateful. That's not to say that I'm not grateful other days, because I do make an effort every day to count my blessings. But, today I am especially grateful. This weekend we got a call from my daughter's teacher. Unfortunately, it was news we had been expecting. One of my daughter's friends lost her mother to breast cancer this weekend. It was a long battle. We knew that the end was near and we tried to prepare our daughter a few weeks ago by delivering the news that her friend would soon need extra love and support.
I admit I took the news harder than I expected. Frankly, I had never met the mother and I have not yet had the opportunity to meet her daughter either. But that didn't stop me from connecting with the sadness that her family must be feeling right now. And I couldn't help feeling the loss that the mother must have felt when she realized that she wasn't going to see her young children grow up.
So, today I feel great gratitude that I have been blessed with another day. It's another day to see my girls smile and to feel their arms wrapped around me. Life as a parent isn't always easy. It's filled with tough decisions, exhaustion, and moments of pure frustration. It involves days when we have to break up fights between siblings, clean up never ending messes, and wash enormous piles of laundry. For many it means coming home from a job to face many more hours of work at home. It means nagging kids to get their homework done and to say "please" and "thank you". It's a job with no pay raises or monetary bonuses. We have to do it every day, 24 hours a day, even if we don't want to! And we never know if we are "doing it right".
But today I am grateful for all of it because without the hard stuff I wouldn't have the really good stuff. I embrace the things that my kids do that seem to drive me crazy. I am grateful to be driven crazy by such amazing girls! I look forward to the dirty dishes, the spots on the kitchen floor 10 minutes after mopping, and the toys spread all throughout the house...that I keep tripping over. My home is full of energy and life, and I'm blessed to be able to see it, hear it, and feel it all.
I don't normally set resolutions for the new year, but this year I made an exception. I have vowed to take better care of myself. It's easy to put our families before ourselves, but if I don't take care of myself too I'll miss out on so much and so will they. So, I'm working to add regular exercise into my week and trying to eat healthier. I'm going to make every effort to enjoy being a mother even on the toughest days. I'm going to try to let go of what isn't truly important and I'm going to do my best to be a better parent every day even if I don't always succeed. I want to be here to see it all for as long as I can. Today I am grateful for being here....
It's as simple as that.