Taking Gratefulness to New Heights

>> Sunday, August 7, 2011

I cross posted this from my DupageMamas blog today. I think it bears repeating...

My baby is about to turn 3 this week. People are always telling moms of young kids to enjoy these early years because the time goes fast. Too fast. I used to just smile and humor whoever was saying it this time. But these days, I breathe deep and nod my head because I am seeing how true that is. Too true. My hubby and I took our boys to a movie in the park last night. As we sat in the dusk light, waiting for the movie to start, my little guy was in my lap and my older son sitting between my Hubby and I. I felt a wave of something rush over. Looking at my boys, I just felt so, so grateful. Grateful for this fun summer moment, all sitting in the grass together eating candy and watching this movie. Grateful for our little family, for these boys and the Hubs. This gratefulness brought along with it it's cousin contentment and I sat there and just drank it all in.

Because of the movie, the boys went to bed late but yet they woke up at the exact same time as usual. This made for some general crankiness today. Last night's emotional rush was lingering still but was somewhat lessened by having to referee fights and squash the whining. I left Hubby to do lunch and naps and headed for the Flashes of Hope Peds in the Weeds picnic for families of chronically and terminally ill children. My good friend Carrie runs the FOH Chicago chapter and I offered to volunteer at the photo shoot they ran at today's event. (If you don't know about Flashes of Hope, check out the website. They provide free professional pics of kids and their families.)

Seeing these kids and their families today was more than inspiring. I have been hugging my sweet 3yr old tighter this week anyway for lots of reasons. But coming home today, I made sure to take both boys and squeeze them until they almost popped. Then came that rush of gratefulness all over.

I had a brief conversation today with a mom of a 2 and a half year old boy with some complex medical issues. She didn't get into it, I didn't ask. It didn't matter. He was one of the most delightful, precious little boys I have ever met. He radiated happiness and joy, and so did his 3sisters and 2brothers. It was quite evident that they are all so grateful for each other, no matter what life is bringing their way. It was truly inspiring to watch this family love each other and this little boy so much that is was palpable to a bystander like me.

Life throws a lot at all of us. Sometimes, it is easy to tell myself that I have had more than my fair share. But all I have to do is look around and get my eyes off me to realize that is so far from true. I have SO much to be grateful for. My boys are the biggest thing but not the only things by a long shot. I felt grateful for them last night. But being at this picnic today took my gratefulness to new heights.

Thank you Carrie and FOH for the joy you bring to these families. And thank you for letting me be a tiny part of it today. I walked away feeling more like myself than I have felt in awhile. Funny how that happens when I get my eyes off me.

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