Some of the things I’m thankful for, on Thanksgiving:
- Tom. This man’s patience for me is legendary. I’ve been a lot of work. He sees the best and the absolute worst I have to offer and he still sticks around. That’s some big love. Wow, it humbles me. He has told me that he loves every part of me, every single thing, that he completely loves me. He tells me that he would be devastated to not have me in his life. He wants me in it, and he wants to love me. He wants to do life alongside me doing life. My job is to figure out how to accept that kind of love and to reciprocate it. It’s really hard for me. It’s hard to be accepted and loved like that-but I’m determined every day to keep practicing.
- My children and bonus children-I am so proud of Piper and Liam. They know who they are. That’s the best thing ever as a parent, to have children that simply know who they are. But it’s not simple. It’s a big task, accepting yourself, loving yourself. It’s as if my biggest dream for them came true, this complete love of themselves. They might argue that they have a long way to go, but so do we all. It’s our life’s journey. They are, however, far ahead of where I was as a young adult.
- That I’m friends with my children’s father, and now just call him “my friend Will.” We’ve had some exchanges via text lately that make my heart happy and settled. The house we had together is gone to a new family now, and we both sent out our words of hope to them, together.
- My home and my farm. I’m starting to just practice making plans for the future, a future that assumes I’m living here on my farm with my new family and in this new chapter. It’s less scary that way, because I’m creating a story in my head and in my words that includes it. I tell my students about once a week “at the end of Kindergarten you will come to my farm.” Ever since I’ve been with Tom we’ve had an end of the year BBQ for my students, and last year was the first year here at our farm. Next year hopefully it doesn’t downpour rain and create the true namesake for Soggy Bottom Ranch to come true with thick caked mud on everyone, but that was kinda fun and crazy, too.
- My dream art studio is coming true. It’s something I have always wanted, a backyard art studio with electricity and windows and heat. A place where I can just be in solitude and peace. A place of creativity that is boundless.
- Our trees! I look out our windows every day at these incredible trees and I watch the birds fly in and through and around them. Last Sunday a Golden Eagle sailed through the air after lifting off from one of the tall spruce trees.
- I’m grateful that my cousin and his wife only lost their house in the fire, and didn’t lose their lives.
- I’m grateful that my friend Sean is on the mend, and that he’s recovering at a steady rate.
- My kitchen countertop. I can cook or bake anything and have 8′ to spread out. It makes cooking so nice and I’m grateful for it every single time I prepare food.
- My students, who teach me more than I ever teach them.
- The families of my students, where I get to practice patience, grace, love, kindness, understanding.
- Colleagues in education that push me to be better.
- God and all the wisdom and love God provides.
- My insane dogs and my insane cats. There is a message there…
- The fact that I can have chickens and goats and maybe a cow or two, and raise gardens and have compost and do all the things on this farm that make me happy.
Most of all, I’m grateful for the presence of mind to be able to be grateful.
These are the pilgrim boy and girl drawings that my Kindergarten students did yesterday. They learned how to draw them by watching the amazing Art for Kids Hub with Rob and his adorable family.