Say Thank You
James got a haircut yesterday. (Insert loud sigh!)
I always joke about selling tickets to this truly entertaining event. Jim is on his knees, holding James down in the chair. I am standing holding James’ head, so that Cassie can feverously cut while James squirms and squirms, trying desperately to get free. The good news is, Cassie is the fastest hair stylist on the planet. Seven minutes later, James is free. The bad news is, it only takes about six minutes for Jim’s knees to be bruised and my heart.
I hate this part of parenting a child with special needs.
When I got home, I turn on the news to see an update on the Chattanooga bus crash. I can still hardly watch. My heart breaks for those parents who lost their children and the other kids who survived, but are now emotionally wounded. And then the next story was about some Tweet our President-elect posted, and I screamed at the TV and God. “I just don’t get so many things! Why do kids have to die?
And can’t someone pleeeeeease do something with his hair? Cassie?”
The holidays can be tough. A friend texted that she was sad, missing a loved one, and another friend said she was having a kitchen sink plumbing problem on the biggest cooking day of the year! And another was dreading going home because she would be forced to be in the same room with an estranged brother.
My “go to” response to them (and anyone struggling) has always been, “Well, look at it this way, no one is dead or injured, and if this Thanksgiving sucks – wait a year – I promise you’ll get another shot at it in 364 days.” But children did die and I have friends losing the battle with Cancer, and so many families with gather trying to be kind when all they want to do is poke someone’s eye-out with a fork over something that happened twenty-years ago! Thanksgiving does come every year, but what if it’s not much better than last year?” And the list goes on and on and on. So, I got to thinking this morning,
“what do you do (besides self-medicating with sugar or alcohol or binge watching Netflicks) when your ‘go to’ doesn’t get you there anymore?”
You breathe in and out and you find the smallest tiniest silliest thing to be grateful for. Are you warm? Do you have food to eat? Do you have shoes on your feet? Start there! Start with the extremely obvious and say thank you, even if you don’t feel it. Turn your heart and mind away from the anger and sadness and choose gratitude, instead of screaming at the TV.
So today I say quietly with just enough breath,
“Thank you, universe, for my shoes! Thank you, Cassie, for James’ adorable haircut. Thank you, God, that tomorrow I will get to eat salted-caramel pumpkin pie! Amen.”