Today is my birthday. My 39th birthday (which means that next year is going to be a doozy, but we’re going to ostrich that for the moment). Avery, Owen and Amelia are with The Ex for Thanksgiving. I am on vacation, and although I miss my children terribly, I am relaxed and happy and surrounded by people who love and support me. I know that sometimes this blog can be a little heavy. I prefer the more uplifting and positive entries myself, but the truth is that this blog is where I work through a lot of my bad stuff. And that means that oftentimes I sign off and leave everyone (me included) a little … angst-y.
Today, though? Today I’m determined to be nothing but thankful. My life is rich and ripe with blessings: my health, my education, my children, my strength, my job. My life is also full of SO, SO many wonderful people. Today I want to give thanks for them. To them. In no particular order:
I am thankful for my parents, who continue to love me and support me and take care of me,and who have shown me that this parenting job is a lifetime gig.
I am thankful for my mom, whose example I try to emulate, and thankful that she is not batshit crazy (as so many of my friends’ moms are).
I am thankful for my dad, who has always tried to build me up rather than tear me down.
I am thankful for Caroline, who mothers my children, pulls me down from the rafters, and holds my hand through so many of life’s twists and turns.
I am thankful for Avery and Owen and Amelia, who each make me SO proud and humbled Every.Single.Day.
I am thankful for Jennifer, who inspired me to start writing again, who always makes me laugh, who analyzes the crap out of life and motherhood and womanhood with me, and who is always looking for the next adventure.
I am thankful for Taline, because she always sees the very best in everyone—even when there’s not much best to see.
I am thankful for Clare, whom I’ve never met but consider a friend and a kindred spirit, and who does a bang-up job of showing me that this path I’m on can continue straight and true and be rife with fulfillment along the way.
I am thankful for Elizabeth, whose fun-loving spirit makes me try harder to let things roll off my back.
I am thankful for Lauren, with whom my relationship today has been hard-earned, but well worth the effort.
I am thankful for Tony, who mows my yard and fixes my computer and keeps my dogs and praises my single-parent efforts (and he knows how tough it is).
I am thankful for Jason, who came out of the woodwork after 20+ years to be a kind and thoughtful source of support for me—you’re a good man.
I am thankful for Sheri, who is always willing to grab a bite or a glass at the last-minute, and whose relationship requires zero effort to maintain—everyone needs that easiest of friends. I’m glad you’re still one of mine after 25 years.
I am thankful for Mindy, with whom I can share all of my worst parenting moments without fear of judgment, and who is truly my sister from another mister (making me a smidge Jewish, I’ve decided).
I am thankful for Wendi and Lisa and Stacey and Lindsey and DE and Amy and Ann and Jenny—whom I’ve met once or not at all, but whose writing either makes me laugh or makes me think or makes me cry or all of the above. I read a lot of blogs, but (after Jennifer’s and Clare’s) yours are the ones I read first—your words make my days richer.
I am thankful for my children’s teachers, because they love and care and help me raise these kids of mine.
I am thankful that The Ex has remained a fully integrated part of our children’s lives. I am thankful that he wants to spend time with them, that he attends games and practices and meetings and programs and doctors’ appointments and birthdays, and that he leaves The Girlfriend at home when he does so.
I am thankful for Facebook (ok, not technically a person). And that’s cheesy, I know, but it has reconnected me or kept me connected with so very many people that I otherwise might not be in touch with right now, like Maggie and Kathryn and Craig and Laura and Brent and Debra and Keith and Amy and Amy and Cate and Theresa and Karin and Sarah and so very many others.
I am thankful for each and every person that reads this blog and then takes the time to comment or send me an email. I am awed by your generosity and utterly glad to be the recipient of it.
I am thankful for Tommy and for Chris, who always make me laugh.
I am thankful for my high school friends—Jennifer and Robin and Robyn and Elaine and Andi and DeeDee and Patrice and Amy—for reminding me of the importance of girlfriends, for rallying around me when I needed you, for praising and supporting and loving me and each other, and for giving me a sense of stability and lifelong friendship that I never really had before. And for Sam and Danielle and Briana and Melanie, whom I don’t see as often but enjoy just as much when I do.
I am thankful for Alan, who always manages to put a smile on my face, even when smiling seems most impossible.
I am thankful for Morgan, who loves and teaches my children.
I am thankful for Sheri (again) and Dorian and Brook and Casie and Jolene and Dina and Kelly and our wine nights—you’ve made me like this town of ours a whole lot more.
I am thankful for all the people I’m forgetting to thank, whose words and emails and texts of support seem to come at the most random (but perfect) of times, and I am thankful that they’ll forgive me for not mentioning them specifically by name because I’m getting old and forgetful and because my life has too many bounties of riches to be named one by one.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.