Thankfulness: A Young Mother’s Perspective and an Older Mother’s Perspective…

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Gina’s Thankful Turkeys, nice to copy for your children, grandchildren or great grandchildren…

 

Gina, a young mother, reflects on Thanksgiving.   She wrote this separate from my reflection and when we shared with each other, we were in awe that they both complemented the other…
This time of year, talk inevitably turns to thankfulness. Well, thankfulness and food! I teach yoga to elementary students at a private school near our home, and my husband and I have 2 young boys, ages 4 and 8. So before the onslaught of turkey and desserts, then the presents of the holidays, I like to take a moment and talk about being thankful…both with my young students AND my young sons. I actually started by looking up the definition of “thankful”. It is “expressing gratitude, grateful, aware and appreciative of a benefit”. I often find that the kids in my life are thankful for the simple things in life. Food, shelter, or a beloved toy. After a brief discussion about gratitude, I have them fill out “thankful turkeys”. Then we talk about how to show thankfulness. We chat about thank you notes for presents (much to my dismay, a dying tradition….most of my students have never hand written a thank you note), baked goods to show appreciation, or simply saying “thank you, I appreciate your kindness”. My mom, the brains behind Visions of my 60s, asks my own children at bedtime to name 3 things they are thankful for. Usually they say “Mom, Dad, my brother, Nina & Papa (their names for my mother and father). It all boils down to this…children are naturally thankful for the simple things in life, and saying thank you to show your gratitude is the best way to convey your appreciation. During this holiday season, I invite you to think like a child, be thankful for the little things in life and show your gratitude in a simple way.
Version 2Me with Aaden and Parker on my 65th birthday, I’m actually thinking how grateful I am to have them both with me and also to be surrounded by such loving family, at our Cape Cod cottage:)  I think they’re thinking the same thing, look at how their hands are on their hearts:)   P.S. Gina made that cake for me, strawberry and chocolate homemade ice-cream cake, yum…
What I’m Grateful For at 65 Years Old…
It’s easy to be thankful for the hugs from my four and eight year old grandsons, the first time we see them in a month, or the unexpected hug from a student in our kindergarten class when I say goodbye at the end of the day. I’m truly grateful to be connected to that innocence and youthful energy that permeates their space. What is harder to be grateful for is the energy I’m thrust into by the care of my 98-year-old mother with dementia in her own home, after leaving the youthful nonstop commotion of kindergarten. I’m thankful for the lessons I have learned in caring for “Ma” for eight years. In her constantly asking me where she’s going for Thanksgiving, I’ve learned patience; in her forgetting I’m her daughter and my name, I’ve learned forgiveness; In her not knowing I have a separate life with husband, children, grandchildren and friends, a home and job, I’ve learned compassion; Her eyes are fading and sometimes blank, in this I see the innocence that has come full circle, from that I’ve learned love and understanding.
It is not easy to be thankful for these life lessons, it can turn you bitter if you are not, so it is for these hard lessons of life that my mother has taught me, more in the last eight years then any other time in my life that I am truly grateful for and that I get to give her a hug…
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My mother and I, out to breakfast… she ate four slices of French toast!!  We both love scarves…  My mom’s from Christopher Banks, mine from The Paper Store
 I’m also, grateful for “Team Sarah,” my husband Victor who handles all her financing and helps with repairs of her 70-year-old home, my sister Marilyn, my brother Anthony, my son VJ, our home healthcare aid for 6 years Lori and my niece Christy who helped for several years!  Without their love and dedication to my mom, she would not be able to live in her own home.
So it is… from my home to yours, I wish you all a wonderful and reflective Thanksgiving…

 

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