I’ve been feeling, lately, like I’m struggling across the finish line for this year. There’s been a lot of disrupted sleep. A great many things to be done with renovating one house and selling another. Squeezing work into the crevices (truly, in the case of recording juxtaposed with my neighbors’ roof renovation project…). I don’t particularly like this feeling since it’s not like anything will magically change on January 1st. So even thinking about a “finish line” isn’t helpful.

But there are little bright spots as usual, and a moment on Friday that made me grateful. I will admit that I was nervous about the 6-year-old’s parent-teacher conference. I don’t want to write too much about specifics as my kids get older but longtime readers know that he is…spirited. This plays out in various predictable ways. There had been a disciplinary incident on Thursday night at one of his activities that had me quite upset.

Anyway…his first grade teacher, bless her, is a wonderful person who has her methods for dealing with 6-year-olds (for instance, she hands out sheets of scented stickers like they’re candy on Halloween). She told us that he was a joy to have in class, and such a sweet boy, and that he had told her he was nervous about the conference (!) but she said he shouldn’t be because he was doing a good job.

Cue me finally exhaling. I then remembered that he had told me he had put something for me in his desk.

So we all went to look and this little sticky note is what I found. He is a sweet little boy. I left him a note too!

5 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Having just started our day at a tearful orthodontist appointment, I really appreciate this post. It reminds me, as much of your writing does, that if we don’t look for the good we often miss it. My husband is currently working hours like we’ve never seen before. It’s a hard season in that way with no real finish line in our current site line. I’m trying to manage my energy and how I show up to my interactions with everyone as much as I manage my time. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Laura.

  2. Oh man. As a mother with a spirited child (I took a quiz when said child was 2 months old – clearly a bunch of hocus pocus – and got an off-the-chart reading for “spirited” without any “textbook” or “angel” in the mix; guess what…over 10 years later and “spirited” is still the best description) – those little nuggets of love and appreciation from our kids are wonderful. Also, spirited children have SO much potential. Every parent conference I hear from teachers about leadership capabilities and how, literally, my child could do anything in life. It’s all about being patient (as much as humanly possible as a parent) and showing love and trying to emphasize the best qualities of that “spirit”.

    But it can feel like a slog. Glad you got the note. Glad he has a good teacher (it makes a WORLD of difference; Grade 4 was AMAZING for us on the teacher front). Hope this Thanksgiving is great – sister-in-law rolls and all. And I do really hope that roof gets finished up soon.

  3. Aww that is so sweet. Sounds like he has an amazing teacher who is very good at what she does.

    It can be hard to see the good in a challenging season of life – especially one that includes sleep deprivation. We are right there with you as our almost 1yo had an ear infection that wreaked havoc on his sleep and even now that it’s cleared he is not sleeping well for who knows what reason – maybe molars? Add in challenging but typical behavior from a 3.5 yo and the days can feel long. I was talking with my husband last night about how the older son’s behavior has gotten better. He’s throwing fewer tantrums and can be a joy to be around at times. But the not so good stuff, like shoving his baby brother/taking toys away from him/being difficult at bedtime takes more of your attention, so it feels like those situations are happening more often than they really are, compared to the good stuff. So having a gratitude practice that pushes you to look for the good gives a healthy dose of perspective.

  4. Those sweet moments with the spirited ones are the best! So happy that he has a teacher who sees the good in him. Our spirited son had a few great teachers like that, and I was so grateful for them.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Laura.

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