Morning Fog

Belated Thanks

on November 27, 2009

I am thankful for so many things this year. Top of the list: I feel good right now. For the past six weeks, give or take, I have had multiple things go wrong with me. Not major things, I just kept catching various illnesses courtesy of the little germ spreaders in my classroom. But three different antibiotics later, I feel whole. I can actually breathe in and feel air swirling around in clear sinus cavities – a feeling not to be taken for granted. And I can breathe deeply without hearing crackling in my lungs that sounds like someone in crunching up aluminum foil. Yes, for all this I am deeply thankful.

And I am thankful for my family. My immediate family especially: my littlest one, now 12, who is less and less a Mamma’s boy, but still my friend when he isn’t trying on his macho persona. My beautiful daughter and her husband, even though they are far from home, they are happy together (I can’t believe that they have been married over 2 years already!) and that is all I want for them. Actually I lie…I want more than that for them, but that is the thing that counts most. I’m thankful that my daughter is back in school in her new state. A year off had us panicking that she would never finish college, but hopefully she will stick with it despite the demands of being a wife and working. And I can’t forget my oldest…the one who holds a special place in my heart because he is my first. I don’t love him more than the others, and there were times that he drove me crazy (much of his early life) but he is just so darn special because everything was new when I went through it with him. And he is so gifted in so many ways that just knowing him makes him special. And he is close enough that we get to share in his life. And he has chosen the most amazing girl, and they have been together 6 years now and she is like another daughter to me now. In fact, I am so thankful for her because my home life is so testosterone-filled with my daughter out of state, that I can’t stand it sometimes. I could live in a puffy pink palace, but my husband and sons are such manly-men that I feel like a stranger in a strange land at times. So hurray for Surfer Girl. Tomboy that she is, at least she’s a girl! She cooks, she bakes, she helps me do dishes! She wears dresses sometimes! And skirts! She can discuss shopping! Yay!

And I’m thankful that my parents are still around even if their health isn’t so good. My mom seems to have beaten cancer, but her memory is shot. But she still remembers me, so I’m thankful for that. My dad will probably need bypass surgery soon, and there is the whole dilemma of their care in the future…but at least I haven’t had to experience the pain of losing them. I know it’s coming, but thankfully I haven’t had to deal with that yet.

And I have an interesting job. I love the little ones even if they are killing me, one virus or bacteria at a time. I lost two of them over this break – going to a different school for different reasons. And I’m (sorta) glad one is going. Nothing personal, but he was falling farther and farther behind the class and taking up more and more time from the others. His leaving will be a positive thing for the rest of the class, even though we will miss him. The other one we will just miss. sniff. Cute little boys, both of them.
So yeah, I’m thankful for my job…for a pittance of money, for health benefits that I can provide my family, for being a part of the staff at my son’s school and being able to share in his days. For mental stimulation and built-in friends. Mostly girls. Eh. I would probably prefer to just be home again, all things being equal. But I like teaching and I’m lucky that I don’t actually need to support myself or I could never afford to teach. That’s sad, isn’t it? All my education and training and experience, and the fact that I probably put in 70 hours a week to get it all done, and I barely earn a living wage. I couldn’t live the way I do or support a family on what I make. So lots of thanks all around on that front. I think.

What else? Oh yeah. We finally sold our beach condo last summer and were finally able to buy a house down here…4 years after we moved down from Northern California. And thanks to the state of the economy and the impact on housing prices, our condo more or less held its own since it was at the beach, but we were able to afford a much nicer house inland that we could have a few years ago, so in a weird way I am thankful that the real estate market was so bizarre and so uncooperative for so long. We plan to be in this house for a long time, God willing, and so maybe it was worth the wait.

There are lots of things I am not so thankful for, but my life is good. I have all that I need and more, and this is a glass-half-full time of year, so I won’t dwell on what could be better or people I would like to eject or delete from my life. (Trust me, when you are a teacher, there are people that you would like to eject or delete on any given day, and usually their names are spelled p-a-r-e-n-t-s.)

I almost forgot the dog. Ginger gives us such unconditional love everyday, and even though I am forever cleaning up golden fur, we wouldn’t trade her away for anything. And I think I’ll end there before I start mentioning random things like vacuum cleaners, chocolate or self-tanners.

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