Arthur Brooks ran a nice OpEd in the Times over the weekend about choosing to be grateful, and about making it a routine – not just once each November. I’m grateful for a lot of things year-round, but this seems like a good opportunity to list them out. So, for the record, I’m grateful:
- …that I had the guts to start a blog. I’m not sure yet where it’s going, but one of the reasons I didn’t start it for so long (besides those already discussed) was that I thought I’d run out of things to say pretty quickly. Hasn’t happened yet…
- …for blog commenters. It’s nice to know when you appreciate what I write!
- …that I have a daughter who amazes me every day. She’s making logical leaps at the moment that are so much fun to observe – she signs ‘water’ not only when she’s thirsty, but when she hears the shower, or the water in the pipes, or even when she sees the Bay from a distance through the car window (how does she even know that is water??). Meg took her to RIE class today and Carys found a metal lid to play with; she brought it to Meg and said ‘tea’ over and over because it reminded her of the lid of a canister of tea that Carys sees Meg use every day. She understands that the painted birds on her wall and the stuffed birds sitting on her mobile are representations of the birds she sees outside, and she signs ‘bird’ for all of them. Pretty cool.
- …that we can still hike. Not sure how much longer this one’s going to last as the whole package is getting pretty heavy these days. But I’m grateful every day we get to hike after work, for the time being at least.
- …for all the things I see now through Carys’ eyes that I never used to notice. If the moon is up, she sees it. If there’s a plane overhead, she hears it. (Every one of ’em, believe me.) She’s going nuts over the firethorn berries that are out all around our neighborhood at the moment; she does her high-pitched “huuuuh? huuuuh?” sound and practically hyperventilates whenever she sees them. And there’s some other kind of tree that has what looked like green berries but today we saw some of them ripening yellow and others opening up to reveal the actual red berries inside – I guess the green things are actually just pods. I’ve lived in the Bay Area for the better part of 15 years and I’d never noticed.
- …for Carys’ hugs. She is generous with them and they make me melt. She often hugs me and then goes to get her three favorite stuffed animals and then makes sure we all hug together. Today we stopped to touch some grasses with long fluffy heads and she hugged them too.
- …for my friends John and Shawna, who introduced me to RIE. I was searching for information on how I would achieve discipline without being The Parent Who Says No, and they introduced me to the idea that discipline (and more!) can happen through respect. This, more than anything, has touched every aspect of my parenting.
- …that I have a husband who, although he won’t read the parenting theory books, is willing to learn about what I read and put it into practice. There are so many parents on the RIE Facebook groups I’m on saying how their spouses think that endless praise (followed by shaming when things don’t go well) is a better way of raising a child than respectful parenting. We tack back and forth into the wind as we figure out the nuances, but I believe we’re heading in the right direction.