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Parents Talk: What are Your Kids Thankful For?

Sometimes our kids are the ones who have the best answers.

I grew up with four older brothers and two younger sisters, and our house was never quiet. We were always asking for things or for permission, and it could drive my mom nuts.

We now jokingly recite one of her famous phrases: "Gimme, gimme, gimme; I want, I want, I want!"

But there's another thing she used to say when we'd be going over our wish lists of things we wanted to do, to have, to be, to see, etc.

"Be thankful for the things you have, and be thankful for the things you don't have," she'd say.

At first it made no sense. Why on earth would I be thankful that I didn't have my own phone or that we didn't have cable TV?

I shared a room for a few years with my younger sister, Stephanie. One night, as my mom settled us down and turned off the light, she reminded us to be thankful for what we didn't have.

Steph had a broken arm from falling in dance class, and I remember her whispering to me, "Well, then I'm thankful I don't have two broken arms!"

We started giggling at the thought of her wearing two casts. But a moment later, she said very seriously, "I'm also thankful I'm not in a wheelchair."

Late night giggles between two girls not even 10 years old turned into a thoughtful conversation as we thought about all the things we didn't have to deal with.  I don't remember much of that list, but I know we talked about some of the less fortunate kids in our school and some of the kids we knew who didn't have brothers or sisters like we did.

I still think about that conversation and how my 6-year-old sister's comments still have an impact on me today.  I stare at my 4-month-old's face as she giggles and smiles, and I wonder what kind of wise and insightful things she'll have to say, and I can't wait.

So for those of you who have children who've said some wonderful things... what are they? What are your children thankful for this week?  We'd love to hear what you have to say.

Barb Breckshire November 23, 2011 at 08:00 PM
I remember when my children were little and we would each take turns saying what we were thankful for by going around our Thanksgiving table and contributing our thoughts. I'll never forget when my one of my boys, who was five-years-old, said he was thankful for his little sister (who just turned 2). He said he was thankful he had a nice sister who shared her toys with him, and then he said he loved giving her hugs because it made him feel fuzzy inside. To this day (20 years later) we still talk about that and how his sister made him feel "fuzzy." Such a special time. Enjoy your little girl, Mary, they grow so fast! Thanks for letting me share that wonderful memory, Patch!
Saundra Vandergrift November 24, 2011 at 02:48 PM
Our two children were very fortunate to have lots of loving family and friends, especially around their birthdays and Christmas. They still "kid" me about thank you notes. Nope ... no phone calls, written notes were the order of the day. Mom's word was "no thank you note, no gift - it will be returned". Needless to say they wrote their thank you notes and now that they are grown and have their own family the tradition continues thru their children and their spouses. What a blessing to leave this small "thankful" tradition in our family!!! Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone!!
Mary Costello November 25, 2011 at 04:55 AM
We're doing a Parents Talk topic next month on Thank You notes! Happy Thanksgiving to you:):)

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