Gratitude that grows on branches

The library held a parenting workshop last week about gratitude.

“What does that mean?” both kids asked me when I said I thought we’d go.

“It means being thankful,” I said, “being happy for something, appreciating the things and the people you love the best.”

They nodded and moved on, back to whatever they’d been doing before I spoke.

As it turned out, we didn’t make it to the workshop. But if we’d gone, the kids would have made gratitude trees.

I’ve been wondering what they would have placed on their branches.

Mom. Kyle. Dad. Grammy and Papa. Grandma. Grandpa. Dana and Gary. The dog. The cats. Their toys. Disney Channel. Pizza. Brownies. Juice. School. Friends.

Those are my guesses, and maybe (yes, definitely) I should have them do the exercise anyway. It is Thanksgiving after all, and it is important to remind ourselves of all the good in our little worlds.

It will just be Kyle and me tomorrow, and the insides of me spent a little time being sad about that. But it is what it is – distance and time and the cost of gas and the kids being unavailable for our side of the family anyway – and I’m happy to have the grown-up time with my love.

I’ve requested soup.

And, in honor of the holiday, here’s what grows on the branches of my gratitude tree: 

1. A husband like no other. One who makes me soup on Thanksgiving, even though he thinks it’s weird.

2. Healthy, happy, smart, beautiful children. I couldn’t ask for any better.

3. My mom. I love you.

4. The other parents in my life. Thank you. I love you, too.

5. A job that (usually almost always) pays the bills and keeps me challenged and fulfilled. And gives me an office with a window.

6. Books. You are my favorite.

7. Music. You are my favorite favorite.

8. My friends. You save me.

9. Wine bars and cheese trays. Cowboy boots and acoustic guitars. Coffee. Yoga. Fall. Yellow. Orange. Felines. Writing that takes my breath away.

10. The ability to make our own choices, pave our own paths, decide our own tomorrows.

I cheated on number 9, but those all deserved a spot on my list.

Oh, and this:

What’s on your gratitude tree?



5 thoughts on “Gratitude that grows on branches

  1. I love you so much! And your beautiful family! Justin and I are alone too this weekend. So sad we can’t be together, but still so grateful you are all happy and healthy and living a fulfilled life!! Miss you!


  2. Love this. I think about gratitude a lot too. I feel, mostly, very grateful. It’s seems to be an ungrateful world though. Glad you have someone you love to spend the day with. Enjoy the soup!


  3. I love your blog posts! I’m grateful to have your friendship over the many long miles and months and I am so looking forward to seeing you again. I hope we can get together over Christmas or sometime very soon.
    On my tree: I am so grateful to have given birth (naturally!) to an amazing little girl and to have a husband that is a wonderful father.
    My parents who love me and love Justin (even when he’s being a butt) and who so generously wrote off our debt to them as a Christmas present. And who have supplied Lucille with tons of diapers.
    My two sisters-in-law that have given Lucille her entire wardrobe. I have a very stylish 5 month old.
    And so, so much more!!


  4. so grateful for health, family, living in the most beautiful habitable place in the world (Donegal, Ireland), my eyes and hands to paint with, and SOUP!! Thanks for your blog ♡


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