So, today being the first day of November, I am reminded that Thanksgiving and Turkey season are on their way. It is my goal to slowly instill in my children that life is far more rewarding if you learn to love and appreciate what you have, instead of wishing for things you haven’t. Don’t get me wrong, I know that this is a really tough concept, even for adults. I like to think of humans as computers that are programmed to incorrect default settings. Humans appear naturally wired to look around us and want more than what we have. The grass, as they say, is always greener on the other side. A better software configuration would probably recognize and optimize (enjoy) the current possibilities of the data they are computing daily. As such, it’s my goal to reach inside of my kids heads and reprogram their internal computers to naturally count the blessing bestowed upon them. Not being a
human/computer programmer, this can be tricky. If I simply brainwash them into thinking/ computing everything they have is perfect, they will never be open to change, and a human computer that is not open to change simply cannot grow upgrade. So, I suppose, my real purpose is to teach my kids a balance between enjoying what they have, while being open minded about the possibilities around them. I guess, sticking with my computer strategy, it’d be like installing a new platform in their brains which would allow for upgrade but would continue to work well and optimize their current software. (How’s that for a gadget geek mothering solution???) And, just how do I plan to reprogram my children’s brains? (I’m glad you asked.) I plan to tell them each day about something I am thankful for. I also plan to ask them to name one thing they are appreciating in their life, which should hopefully prompt them to actually notice and enjoy their surroundings.
Today, I am thankful for my husband. (Okay, actually, almost everyday I am thankful for my husband. But today especially.) Though I whine and complain because his idea of productive is different than mine day to day, I know that he works really hard for our family, and, he allows me to be creative and carefree with the kids. Sometimes, he even goes along with my silly schemes. Today, I got a wild hair and decided, adamantly, that the boys need more exercise with soccer ending and winter impending. SO, I texted Ryan midday, and suggested an elaborate idea involving taking the boys one-on-one each night and giving them a list of activities (physical in nature) to chose from to do together. He agreed, and so tonight, he and Jake played an hour or so of Dance, Dance Revolution, while Ben and I put in a Laurie Berkner DVD and boogied around the upstairs playroom. An hour or so later, we all had red faces and felt a little more bonded with one another. It is my estimation that not a lot of husbands would just go along with this, and frankly, in any other circumstance, I doubt Ryan would either. However, Ryan supports the things which matter most to me, and in this case, silly though it may seem, he knew I felt it was important for the boys to get more exercise. So much so, that he danced the night away with his son. What more could a mother and wife ask for?
As for the boys, I decided today I would ask Jake first. As Jake settled into bed, I whispered just loud enough for Ben also to hear, “Thanksgiving will be coming this month. Can you name just one thing you are thankful for?” He immediately answered, “My cats.”
This came as no surprise to me. Jake has always loved his cats. I am actually quite thankful for our cats as well, because though I haven’t had to declaw them, they have never bit or or scratched my children, even when the kids were using them as teething rings or learning to walk only to pull their tails. Someday, I would like to blog the story of Jake’s first true friend, Sheila. But alas, today’s blog is not about Sheila. Really, it is not about Mario, Luigi or any other furry creature which inhabits our house. Today’s blog is about Jake’s ability to love and appreciate an animal. Cats are strange creatures that, unlike dogs, do not learn tricks or await your arrival at the door each day. Cats are selective about who they are going to adore and when. And yet, Jake can look at them adoringly, knowing all they have to offer him is warm cuddles and furry clothes. Suffice it to say, I think the month is off to a great start. I am eagerly anticipating Ben’s response tomorrow.
Today, I am thankful for Ryan, Jake, Ben and the cats. What a great day. What are you thankful for? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.