posted by: Lori Holden
During this holiday season, big thankfulness is what we usually aim for. Yet there are countless opportunities to feel gratitude for the small things. This is one of my moments of micro-thankfulness*.
I’m well aware of my shortcomings as a mom. I lack enough patience. I don’t engage deeply and often enough with my kids. I have an overwhelming need to have time and space away from them. I am not Fun Mom simply because of my aversion to activities for which there will be more than 90 seconds of cleanup.
I am also aware of my strengths. I have healthy boundaries with them. I respect myself and expect that they treat me (and others) respectfully. I model for them how to love one’s body and treat it well. I model lifelong learning and inquisitiveness.
I added something new recently: the ability to sit with pain and discomfort without fixing it. Which, not surprisingly, mended the situation.
Reed, my 6 year-old son, is surrounded by alpha people. The other three members of his household are all obnoxiously bossy eldest children, and his best friend is a hellion spirited child. Reed is incredibly resilient, and has a wide range in which to accommodate the whims and demands of others.
Reed had had a particularly pushed-around day. He got blamed by his teacher for something another kid did. His best friend wouldn’t give back Reed’s Star Wars game, and later when Tessa (his 8 year-old sister) got home, she kept interrupting him as he tried to tell me his troubles. He grew increasingly whiny and pouty.
Rather than my usual reaction to whining, which is to ask him to go to his room until he can be pleasant again, I simply picked him up and carried him gently to another room, sat down with him and said, “It sounds like you’ve had a hard day. Sometimes it’s hard to share, isn’t it?”
His little body collapsed into mine and he sobbed into my shoulder, more relieved to be understood than sad about the day. Tessa came to get in on the action, and I gently asked her to wait for me in the kitchen (and she complied!).
Reed got the message that he deserved 100% of something once in awhile.
Then it was over.
And his surrender was a moment of micro-thankfulness for me.
What moment of micro-thankfulness have you experienced recently?