Here’s my first Shine Parenting Guru post. This month, we were asked to write about a moment over the last year that we are genuinely thankful for. Trying to come up with just one was a challenge, but here’s what I chose to write about. A special thanks to the friends who inspired me (and Big)!
Recently Big and I were discussing his upcoming birthday party. Since his birthday isn’t until March, this chat may seem premature. But when you’re 4, time is measured in finger paint projects and birthday parties, so it was really quite natural. While we were chatting, I was more than a little surprised when Big announced he didn’t want to invite any friends to his party. I know he leans toward the shy end of the spectrum, but he has some buddies he truly adores and I just didn’t get it.
I felt a manic mommy moment coming on. It was time to save my little boy from himself again… I was prepared to tell him how friends are the people that make life’s celebrations special. I was ready to ask him how he’d feel if his friends had a party and didn’t invite him. I was even willing to point out all the fun that can be had by a group of preschoolers all hopped up on sugar.
But as I started in, “What about so and so…” and went down the list of his friends he can’t seem to get enough of, he said (in the sweetest of exasperated tones), “Well, of course they’re invited, Mom. They’re family.”
My shoulders relaxed and my eyes welled up. There was no need for panic, after all. Just gratitude.
Once again, Big put into simple words a feeling that I am blessed with every day. Not only do we have fun, supportive, loving relatives on our side, our family also includes some of the most wonderful friends we could ask for. And the best part is, the kids love each other as much as the adults do.
These are friends who are there to toast the smallest of triumphs at a moment’s notice (like the fact that we made it to Friday afternoon). And who show up with a homemade dinner when it’s been a rocky few days (or weeks). Friends who don’t care when you haven’t done your breakfast dishes (from last Tuesday). And friends who know just how to make you laugh (especially at yourself).
Some of these friends have known us longer than we’ve really even known ourselves. And others are new to our lives, but it feels like we’ve been friends forever. Each of them holds a special place in our lives, even if they don’t have a spot on our family tree.
So this season as I think about all the things I’m thankful for—and the list is long—our extended family is right there at the top. And knowing that Big feels that same love, well, that’s just about as good as it gets.
I would be oh-so thankful (as would others, I’m sure), if you’d share a moment you’re grateful for this year. Even if you’ve never commented, please don’t be shy!