Resolve Update: Gratitude

I am grateful for a moment at the end of the day to pause and remember why I love being a mother.

As part of my exploration of gratitude I have introduced a new bedtime ritual. At the end of each day, just before we turn out the light, the two boys and I do our ‘gratitudes.’ We pause for a moment and each talk about the things for which we are grateful. Most often we are thankful for things that have to do with cars: the race car bedspread or the hot wheels tracks or the favorite race car of the moment.

The gratitudes are quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of the day. Not only do I love hearing what the boys are going to come up with but its a chance for me to pause and reflect on what was good about the day… even when much of it hasn’t been.

I’ve never been one much for prayer, particularly the kind where you are expected to get down on your knees, fold you hands and ask God for something that you have no business asking for… but this kind of simple expression of thanks seems to me far more spiritual than many religious practices I’ve experienced. Whether you include a version of God in your gratitudes is a matter of choice but simply taking time to reflect on the good in life has a powerful calming and uplifting effect.

Both kids have been very receptive to the new ritual but the Little Dude has been surprising me the most with his thoughtful approach to something I thought was going to be over his two-year-old head. On many occasions he just parrots whatever his brother has announced he’s grateful for, especially when it has to do with four wheels, but more and more he’s taking his time to really think about what’s he’s grateful for. Tonight when I asked him what he was grateful for, he thought for nearly a minute and then said ‘mommy and daddy,’ later he added he was thankful for his Nana and his Sunday School teacher, and Margaret (a colleague who has a gum ball machine in his office – even thought I won’t let him eat gum yet, he loves getting ‘a ball’ each time he’s in her office).

I have to say, while I have made no progress on the resolve to get rid of that pesky 20 pounds again, the gratitude resolution is leaving my calmer and happier.

I’m grateful for the chance to be grateful.

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