Friday, November 29, 2013

Giving, Thanks and Reconciling

Hope your family had a special, warm and family-filled Thanksgiving.  It is one of my favorite holidays because
a) I don't have to buy anything and
b) I don't have to do anything other than show up and eat.
Or at least, that's how it is for now so I am enjoying that luxury.

On Thanksgiving Day our tradition is to head my in-laws for a feast to end all feasts.  Now that they have moved our commute has gone from two hours to 6 minutes.  That is something to be thankful for!

A more recent tradition on Thanksgiving is The Making of The Gingerbread Houses, one house per family unit.  It's a friendly competition, and no one ever wins... and everyone eats more candy than what ends up on their house.  It's cute.  Even my 16-year-old nephew isn't too old or cool to join in the fun.

It's a cliche wrapped in a cliche but I can't hold it back - we have so much to be thankful for. I wake up every morning thinking about how blessed we are.  That, even on our "bad" days when "everything goes wrong," it is really more annoying things ( a mailbox being knocked over, the kids acting like fools, the washing machine breaking) than anything really major.  The "major things" will come, I know this because people can't live forever and tragedies don't discriminate.  So, I will enjoy all the regular ups and downs of family and life while it's all relatively manageable.

"What about CB?" some people might ask. Certainly CB and I have traveled off the generic path of the picture-perfect version of family "normality." But even when we were in and out of hospitals and going to therapists and getting diagnoses... even at her "worst" I always knew her life wasn't in danger.  Her health wasn't THAT precarious.  I mean, there were a couple scares, but the scares only lasted a few moments. Even after her diagnosis of Autism and cognitive impairments, after life unfolded in the way it did, I can't say we're not blessed.  It is what it is.  Would I change it?  Yes, probably.  For her. And, who am I kidding, for me to.  But the "someone always has it worse" rule can keep you pretty grounded even when things aren't ideal.  And what is ideal anyway?  And how long can "ideal" really last?

Last weekend, I failed to do my weekend wrap up, so I'll do it here. As part of the Catholic church there is a sacrament called "First Reconciliation" which is when you take your first confession or do your first penance.  Not being Catholic myself, I never did this nor did I really know what it was until I went through it with Pink last year. I'm not terribly 'religious' but I try to make these sacraments as meaningful to the kids as I can because if we're going to do it, let's get some meaning out of it, right?

So, Tink was nervous to confess to the preist. She was embarrassed. She was afraid she'd get in trouble or that he'd report what she said back to us. Now, let me preface all of this by saying Tink is like the model of good behavior. She causes me the least grief around the house and I think I've yelled at her a total of 3 times in her entire 7 years of life.  So, what on earth she could "confess" is beyond me.  So, we steered clear from this whole "You have sinned and you must say 20 Hail Marys" and all that stuff.  We told her it's just about examining your behavior as you grow and learn, taking responsibility and apologizing when you do something you know you shouldn't have done (or have missed an opportunity to make the right choice) and then saying next time, I'll do better.  Even more importantly, it's about righting your "wrong." Reconcilling. Doing better when you know better.  

Afterwards, we went out for pizza and don't you know this little bunny wanted a slice piled with broccoli.  Only this kid.  

And this little one will be celebrating a birthday.  My baby - turning 6.  But, that post will come another day. We've got major drama unfolding here and Mama is ready to lose her cool.  Ready to snap, but hey... still thankful nonetheless.

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