My daughter and I have a chalkboard in our kitchen. We decided starting November 1st every day we would each write something we were thankful for in honor of Thanksgiving.
It started with what you would expect — my daughter, my mommy, our health, our home, our animals, our friends and family, food, clothing, employment, education and on and on. None of these things taken for granted. When you’ve not had you never forget.
But as the month wore on and we had gotten all the essential and obvious items written we found ourselves having to pause and think a little harder. I would come in the kitchen and find my girl standing in front of the chalkboard, staring at it before she finally wrote my joy.
And after I made her lunch in the morning and stood with my coffee in front of the chalkboard I’d dig before finally writing the sun and the moon. She wrote creativity. I wrote music. She wrote colors. I wrote words. It was like opening a gift every morning, coming to the kitchen and being surprised by what the other person wrote.
But the other morning I was rushing. I’d been working long, late hours and not sleeping (seems my insomnia is back). I was racing to make her lunch, pack her backpack, find her clean gym clothes, sign papers she had to turn in, write checks that were due and try to get myself ready for work and an early breakfast meeting when I forgot to write on the board.
But she didn’t.
When I came home at the end of what can only be described as a day of personal and professional knocks and that overall feeling that I’m not able to do it all… I stopped.
There on the board in my sweet girl’s handwriting was… I’m thankful for my mommy’s perseverance.
It left me speechless. I just stood there looking at it, taking it in. When did she learn that word? How did she spell it right? I always spell it wrong. Look at her beautiful handwriting.
Most of all it left me speechless to know that that is in her heart. That thought. That awareness. That belief about her mother.
I picked up the chalk and simply wrote Thank full.
We’ve decided to continue writing on the board every day — be it November, February or June. I guess once we picked up the chalk… we just didn’t want to put it down.
Yesterday we were taking my car to the mechanic. While I was standing at the counter filling out paperwork my girl was sitting behind me, waiting. When we left she wrapped her arm around me and said,
Mommy, you have the cutest butt. You’ve got the butt of a 20 year old.
Now, I don’t know if she was lying or not and I don’t care because either way… that’s definitely going on the chalkboard.
(this column was originally posted November 2013)