I am the mother of two beautiful little girls, each with a unique and complex personality, their own insightful thoughts and ideas. As their mother, I may be a bit biased, but every day they surprise me with their intelligence as well as empathy. At five and ten years old, they are beginning to really see the world around them, and are able to visualize their wants and needs. Both girls are no stranger to the Thanksgiving Holiday, but this year I wanted to know, in their words, what they are thankful for. Their responses left me teary and proud to be their mother.
I asked my oldest daughter, the ten year-old first. She is a deep and thoughtful child, extremely creative and artistic as well as witty with a great sense of humor! We often have long chats about nature and life, which I cherish. I was anxious to hear her reply.
“Well mom, I don’t know if I can answer that… because there are just so many things I am thankful for this year!” she smiled up at me and wrapped her little arms around my waist.
“I think that I am most thankful for all the love I have around me, for the people that care about me and make sure that I am happy.” Her dark little eyes were very serious and her brow furrowed a bit.
“I love everyone in our family, but I would be most thankful if another kid could have the same kind of love that I have in my life”. My heart couldn’t have felt any bigger at that moment.
I held her close for a moment more, too choked up to say anything. This precious person who I have raised and cherished since conception, was turning into a thoughtful and introspective little human.
Her little sister is never far from us, and having an older sibling (by five years) has matured her in a way that I don’t think she would have experienced if she didn’t have the sister she does. I could tell she had been listening in on our conversation, and, always the observer, sat quietly nearby contemplating her answer. My baby, my little girl, so beautiful and brilliant from the very beginning, sat with her petite hand on her cheek, head tilted just a little to the side. She clutched her toy tiger in her left arm, fingers worrying its ear.
“What do you think baby, what are you thankful for in your life this year?” I knew that a response from a five year-old could be anything from this morning’s special breakfast of cinnamon pancakes or her new My Little Pony toy she got for her birthday, but I was interested regardless. Her reply left me all clammed up.
“I think that today is special because we are here to love and help each other. But I don’t think that we should only be thankful today, we should be thankful every day.” My eyes welled up and I gathered both girls into my arms.
“I am so thankful to have such wonderful and thoughtful daughters in my life, I love you both so much!” If only everyone could keep in mind what two children seem to know intrinsically: love and family are the most important things we have in this life and we should cherish them not just once a year, but every day. Happy Thanksgiving Canada!