Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Remembering to be Grateful

Earlier this week I spent a couple of hours putting together a slide show for my Myspace page. It was easier than I thought it was going to be but it turned up some unexpected results.

I’ve always known that family was a huge part of who I am. My family has always been solid, the rock that I could crash against whenever I needed to. We’ve been called Dysfunctional-Normal by a well meaning friend and awesome by another. We are loud, at times obnoxious, often silly, and rarely subtle in our love for each other. We are seldom quiet about the things that we're feeling, but then I guess that's the way it should be.

Agent C and I stayed up late talking the night before. While a host of odd topics came up during the conversation, one in particular stuck with me. We talked about families and what we wanted for ourselves someday.

I told him that my mom made every holiday count at our house. Valentines Day saw red and pink hearts everywhere, Halloween meant that an old cardboard skeleton lovingly dubbed Herman hung on the front door and bats hung from the windows. Christmas? Six huge boxes of decorations came from the garage; the contents dispersed throughout the house until it looked like Christmas threw up and Santa moved in.

I told him that in my own way I’m trying to pass those traditions along to my son. That I believe that traditions are the glue that binds families together and so in that spirit every year before Halloween I take my son to the Farmer's Market. We pick out the coolest pumpkins that we can find and then take them back to the house and carve them. The results are horrific to anyone that has any artistic ability at all (we don't) but we get dirty and we laugh and we are ridiculously proud of our results, a picture is always taken to mark the event. I told him about how we hang spider webbing all over the outside of the house and that that is usually the only time that The Brain ever gets to hear his mama cuss.

I told him about how every New Year's Eve I take The Brain out to dinner at a restaurant of his choice. Over dinner we talk about the last year and what our favorite memories are from it. We talk about the things that we want to do the next year... the sillier the better. I want to go snowboarding... no, I know! Let’s dig a HUGE swimming pool in the backyard! No, wait! I got it! Let’s figure out a way to make it snow… INSIDE! That’d be soooo cool!

I was thinking about the stories that we shared as I was building my slide show and the beauty of it all just hit me. When was the last time that I remembered to be grateful for what I have? How long has it been since I stopped and really focused on the beauty that surrounds me everyday? How long has it been since I stopped focusing on what I’ve lost and instead gave thanks for what I have?

Too long I think.


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