A Thankful Heart
Before dinner, we do that classic family exercise of going around the table and naming things we are thankful for. I realize this is often reserved for Thanksgiving Dinner and other formal occasions. Our kids really enjoy this opportunity to be introspective, and to have our undivided attention, while they name the things that give them joy.
Twin B is pretty conventional. He has graduated from naming doggies and puppies and bubbles, the first things he was thankful for as a three-year-old, to naming apex predators: “Yions (lions) and tigers and wolves.” He almost always names “ships that sail on the SEA!” and sometimes he says he is thankful for “You and you and you,” pointing around the table at each member of his family. It’s really sweet and I love him so much!
Twin A, however, closes his eyes, and uses this opportunity for a public service announcement. He keeps the rest of us hungry while he names many things that he is thankful for, or hoping for, whichever is the case.
One day last week “I’m thankful for the whole world. I’m thankful for drinking juice. I’m thankful for treats. I’m thankful for mountains. I’m thankful we can do everything. I’m thankful for a lot of chocolate. I’m thankful for the whole world. I’m thankful for outer space. I’m thankful for space ships. I’m thankful for the earth. I’m thankful for a lot of presents. I’m thankful for eating some chocolate and candy. I’m thankful for chocolate candy, and I’m thankful for chocolate candy, and I’m thankful for chocolate candy.”
Often when he pauses we optimistically insert a hearty “Amen!” but he steams ahead. I suppose all this food-gratitude might just mean he is hungry at dinner time; however after all this meditating on chocolate he has trouble eating whatever is being served for dinner.
I will share some more things for which Twin A is thankful. Sometimes, as a parent, you don’t know how to respond.
Recently “Everything! I’m thankful for having hot cocoa and bubble gum. I’m thankful for space ships.”
“I am thankful for all the good tasting cough drops.” (He did get in the car a couple days prior and eat ALL the good tasting cough drops.)
“I am thankful for eating ice cream at the ice cream store. Strawberry ice cream, though.” (He was promised a trip to the ice cream store for keeping his diaper clean and dry but he hadn’t gotten to go yet.)
“I am thankful for candy and all the suckers.” (We really need to start locking the car.)
“I am thankful for chocolate.”
“I am thankful for eating strawberry ice cream.” (He picked out strawberry ice cream during a grocery shopping trip the previous day with his dad but hadn’t gotten to taste it yet.)
“I am thankful for too many presents for Christmas.”
“I am thankful for too much ice cream and too much candy.”
“I am thankful for my fishing pole.” (He doesn’t have a fishing pole.) “I am thankful for eating too much chocolate.” (He did do that.) “I am thankful for eating a strawberry smoothie.” (Not that I know of.)
“I am thankful for Santa Claus.”