It was either too wordy, dragged on, tried to encompass too many things. My wife, my son, my family, my friends, our cats, four seasons, etc, etc, etc. You see what I mean. This could take days.
Then today, I realized I could sum it up (fairly) briefly.
What I’m most thankful for is this life.
We can sit around and think about ‘what if’ we had made this choice or decided to that. You can wish for fame and/or fortune. If you look for it, you can always find something to feel negative about, envious about, angry about – whether it’s something that didn’t go a certain way, something you don’t have, or just the way life is.
But really, I’m thankful for everything. Just thankful for this life I have. There were great times, rough times, but each and every segment of this life has been and will continue to be a puzzle-piece that makes up the bigger picture of me and my life.
And I’m incredibly thankful for that. All of that.
No matter who you are, where you are, I hope that not just today, but every day, there is an opportunity available to find even the smallest of positivity, of light, and find happiness and hope in that light.
To those who celebrate, a very Happy Thanksgiving.
The snow was falling for the first time this season, a cold chill in the air, and the heat rising from my car as SiriusXm’s Holiday Traditions played some classics out of the radio (Yes, I’m one of those people listening to holiday music already. It puts me in a good mood as the snow falls, so I make no apologies).
Making our way through some of our usual routes, the little guy pipes up from the back seat, navigating.
“Turn here, dada.”
“This way, dada.”
“You got it, buddy.”
Then, some time later, as I’m waiting at a stop sign, I hear something I’ve never heard before.
“For Pete’s sake, let’s go. Come on, dada.”
He’s two but some days I feel like I’m chauffeuring a teenager around.
I suppose in many ways a toddler is very much like having all the emotional volatility of a teenager and no filter or way to fully communicate it.
Okay. So it’s not that I’m totally unaware of where it comes from. He’s been very, very, very into watching Mickey Mouse Christmas specials as of late and in one of the vignettes, a Goofy one about waiting for Santa to arrive, neighbor Pete hears something out his window and shouts “what in the name of Pete is goin’ on out here, for Pete’s sake?!”
As for the “come on,” well, Meg’s caught herself saying a few times, only to have it repeated back to her by our little human tape recorder.
There’s a lesson in here somewhere, that toddlers are sponges. They are true mimics. And whether it is what they see from the characters they watch, or what you say or what you do, they will look to you for their words and actions.
So make sure they’re the best ones you can muster.
When your child’s vocabulary and speech begins to grow, you, as a parent, are constantly bombarded with new words, phrases and sounds each and every day. At times, they can cause a few moments of strange looks on your face as you try to decipher just what it is they are trying to say. Other times it’s clear as day.
And there are some times when it is so clear and so bizarre that you’re sure you understood it, but question if you heard that right.
One night, for example, our little guy was casually playing in the living room, per usual, with nothing out of the ordinary, when he started telling us about “the little ghost” that he says “hides” from him. My wife and I immediately looked at each other and asked our son, “what did you say, buddy?” and he repeated it, the same as before, clear as day.
A separate afternoon found he and I in his room, playing with some toys, when he suddenly said to me, “Geno’s coming!” This, once again, caused a double-take and a request for repeating, which he gladly, and exuberantly obliged. Yep. He said it. You see, Geno was one of our two older neighbors who passed away this past year. When I asked questions to see if we were talking about the same Geno, yep, we were.
“Does Geno sometimes visit you, buddy?”
I’m sure some people will think I’m looking too much into it, but as I’ve detailed here in the past when one of my parents’ dogs passed away, I suddenly started thinking about children and whether or not they can see things that we adults can’t. Trying to find reference on the internet leads me down a rabbit hole of websites both supporting and debunking the entire thought, so I won’t even bother sending you across the world wide webs for it.
As I’ve said before, I’m not really a religious person these days. Spiritual, probably, but not religious. And I think that’s why I’m always so torn when faced with encounters or incidents like this.
But I certainly think it’s possible.
As we get older, we often become more cynical and hardened to the world around us, losing the open-minded nature and open-eyes that we had as children. Through our young eyes, we saw the world in a much more spectacular, much more magical place than we do as grown-ups. And because of that, I think it’s certainly possible for young ones to somehow be more attuned to what’s out there that we just don’t see or feel.
It gives me some hope that maybe there is something else…something beyond all this. While I, many times, find it hard to believe that, there is a part of me that really wants to.
And whether I am right, wrong, or off-base at all in regard to this life and whatever, if anything, is after, I will say that our little guy is certainly opening my own eyes and mind to the thought that there is much more out there than my jaded, cynical, adult mind has shut out.
He’s quite the teacher.
I can’t help but share the tidbits and conversations that come out of our little guy during our drives in the car.
Recently, we were driving along, some classical music playing on the radio, just the smallest amount of heat coming out of the car on a crisp, Fall day, when I heard coughing from the backseat.
“Are you okay, Buddy?”
“Me no sick, dada. Me BRAVE!”
A few moments later, his arm goes up in the air in a fist, like he’s about to fly.
“You certainly are, buddy.”