For every awful thing I can name that’s upset our world, there are at least a dozen related things for which to be thankful. For every negative way our lives have been impacted, at least a dozen positives or silver linings. For every mean girl, at least a dozen kind girls. For every disappointment, at least a dozen people or things to make us smile.
The changes heaped on the girls were all unfair. And it’s a lot sometimes.
A lot a lot.
Especially on the night before a holiday, beginning a new holiday season, when the worry in little minds about how things will go is at its peak. And there’s only me to take it out on. And only me to help deal with it. Only me to help try to focus on the positives while acknowledging the not-so-positives. Only me to say “things aren’t the same but they can still be great.” Only me to try to figure out a distraction. Then only me to listen to the confusion caused by people who think everything should be ok by now. Only me to offer understanding for why it isn’t. Only me to help everyone wind down. Only me to say “you’re right, it’s not fair.”
And only me to bite back the commentary in my head. It’ll continue to be unfair for literally the rest of your life because even twenty years from now when you’re an adult you’ll be trying to figure out how to get to four houses during Thanksgiving weekend while the people who wreaked all this havoc in your lives will still be oblivious to or not care about the impact their choices had on you and they’ll be somewhere focused on themselves, watching TV or decorating something.
And yet, my relationships with the girls are stronger, I think, after navigating many tough moments together. Even the ones where we’ve all been super shouty. (Maybe especially because of the ones where we’ve all been super shouty.)
I get to hear my children giggle with their friends at all hours of the day and night. And I get to see my children with their friends and see the whole “them,” because kids are different with their friends than they are with their parents.
I get to enjoy impromptu after-dinner dessert creations. And then I get to listen to them argue and snap at each other, only to awaken to the alarm they set so they could get up together at 4:45 on a school day to do hair.
I get to listen to their go-to music choices, and realize that at tough moments they both ask Alexa to play worship music. I get to see that they rely on God to help calm their storms, which makes my heart happy and also reminds me that I need to rely on Him more.
I get to see – I am privileged to see – the good times and the bad times and the blah times and the working-through-something times, and the moments of discovery and the moments of frustration and the moments of trepidation followed by the moments of triumph and even the moments of punch-drunk silliness. In part it is simply being present in all of those situations and moments that strengthen our bonds. Sometimes it is really, really hard to be the only one present in those moments but I am so grateful to be present.
I’m thankful for dozens and dozens of things. My Aunt is in town for Thanksgiving. My parents are all healthy and celebrating another holiday season. Home and car and food. My church. Laughter with old friends. My work family. All of our helpers. Teachers who really care. Veterinarians who work you in at the last minute. Chocolate covered raisins. Extended time off this week – time to read, time to prepare for the holidays, and time to watch an episode of The Crown. Photographs. Memes my daughters text or share. Forgiveness. Tender little hearts that want to see the best in people. Conviction. Snuggles and declarations of love when eyes are too heavy to keep open just before sleep sets in.
My cup runneth over with things just from today.
I saw a long post on Facebook recently about “what’s in your cup?” and it really stuck with me. Paraphrasing…If someone bumps into you while you’re holding a full cup, what’s in the cup is what spills out. Tea or coffee or hot chocolate. When life happens, what’s in our heart is what spills out of us.
My cup runneth over…And yet what spills out in a bump is still a bit of a work-in-progress.