It's that month. The one month a year we are all reminded to be thankful. I really try all the time, but sometimes the stress of day to day life overshadow all blessings that surround me. Today a friend posted about taking time out to notice those daily blessings, and I decided to step up to that challenge. To stop being bogged down by deadlines, paperwork, temper tantrums, running late, dirty laundry, and all the other glamorous things that come along with being a working mother and really focus on the everyday things I often take for granted.
This morning, David buckled the girls in the car. That sounds trivial, but last week I had to pull into a church parking lot across from our neighborhood because I had forgotten to check the bottom buckles on Reagan's five point harness car seat. They were not buckled. This morning, that was not a problem, because my girls had extra time with their daddy while he loaded them in the car so I could fix a cup of peppermint mocha and pack leftover potato soup for lunch. It was a double sided blessing. My girls have a daddy who loves them and their mommy, and I had a few minutes to take inventory before loading myself up for my marathon of a day.
I dropped the girls off at daycare. A daycare where they learn, have teachers who genuinely care about them, and I feel that they are loved and nurtured. We have dropped our kids off at different places, and we've been fortunate that this has always been the case, but I have toured places where I left in tears and was convinced we'd just have to cut back on everything before I could knowingly send the girls there. It is a huge blessing that I sometimes take for granted, but I'm so grateful for.
I drove to work, a little off pace as usual. I got behind our school crossing guard, driving to work on his bike. This man amazes me. He drives quite a ways on his two wheeled, self-propelled transportation, and manages to do his job with more enthusiasm than most people who arrive to work with warm buns from their heated leather seats. I'm really thankful for his waving me by each morning and keeping our kiddos safe.
When I entered the school building I was greeted with hellos from my grade level friends. I cannot imagine work without these ladies. They share resources, jokes, and egg & cheese biscuits; we commiserate over lesson plans, family drama, and testing stress. I love my job and a lot of that is because I love these girls I get to work with. I don't tell them enough, but I'm so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to call them friends.
As my day progressed, I realized how grateful I am for technology. It brings my content alive! These kids who live in front of televisions, with tablets in hand need something a little more interesting than words on a page sometimes. Fossils were a little more interesting with the paleontologists who discovered them, the read aloud was a little cooler with Kevin Costner reading it, and an interactive quiz made multiplication a bit more fun. Even after technology stole my planning time due to some new training, I still have an appreciation for it and how it makes my job a little easier.
By the time the car riders were dismissed, I took time to realize just how thankful I am for my job. I get a new challenge daily, I get to experience new learning with kids and introduce new concepts. I get to start fresh each day, hug away fears, help them make lifelong friends (I'm still friends with some of my elementary school pals), and hopefully make a lasting impression. It's not a job, it's in the cheesiest sense, a real calling that I am so thankful I listened to. I may have been capable of doing a job that was more lucrative, but I wouldn't have felt nearly as fulfilled.
Before I left (as quickly as possible--I'm also incredibly excited that tomorrow is a holiday), I checked my e-mail and straightened my desk. At the end of an e-mail from a parent, she closed it by saying "We are very thankful our child has you as their teacher." Words. We don't often think to be thankful for them, but sometimes a kind word is all we need to feel a little more confident and rejuvenated. I'm really thankful for that sweet e-mail. It hadn't been the most positive e-mail chain, but the fact that this mother, who wants what any other mother does for their child, realizes that we're on the same team is incredibly meaningful.
I made piles of to-dos for Thursday and on my desk was a note that filled every square inch of the notebook paper it was written on. It said, "Please write my name in the word problem. Love, ***" Every day the kids have 2 word problems to complete for their math journals. I write these and try to include the kids names in them. I obviously need to include this kid's name in one. It made me smile. Even if my students are on the big kids' hall, they are still really little. Their names in math problems are really exciting to them, and I love that!
I picked up my girls in the sunshine today! That in itself is worth a whole Facebook post for being thankful today. I can't remember a school year that started with so much rain. I entered the door at the daycare, and my babies ran over to me and knocked me over with hugs. My greatest blessings in life are those two little monsters that call me mommy. We came home, had dinner, and snuggled on the couch. Their daddy brought their brother home and my living room has 5 pairs of feet propped up on reclining furniture. It's cozy and warm and full of so much love. Each night at bedtime, whether I'm tucking in two or three children I call mine, I always tell them before I prayers that I thank God for them.
While I'm very cognizant of my big blessings, my family, my home, and my friends, I often forget some of these daily reasons I have to be thankful. Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday, because it's a time where we slow down to say thanks and to be appreciative. In a world that is fast paced, I like to take a time out to just live here and now. Daily things that usually get lost in the shuffle shouldn't be taken for granted.