Giving Thanks

When I was a kid we went to church every Sunday and said a prayer over dinner every night. These practices have fallen away for me and I’ve been torn about the role I play in bringing religion or spirituality to my children. Slade was not raised in a religious tradition and does not have the same desire to share this journey. I’m intent on finding some middle ground, bringing a level of appreciation and wonder for the world, a respect for others and self, a trust in a divine pattern of some sort. It will be an ongoing challenge for me I’m sure, but I knew from the beginning that I wanted our family to give daily thanks. So even though Liam is only a year and a half I have begun asking ‘What are you thankful for today?’ as we sit down for dinner together. It’s much harder than I thought, coming up with something new to appreciate every day, but it’s such a good exercise. I want it to be something that is second nature for Liam, something he instinctively does as he grows up.

We usually start, each of us talking about what we are grateful for that day, and then I turn to Liam. “What about you? What are you thankful for?” And the past two nights he has paused, but kept looking at me intently, and then said, ‘cat!’ He only has a handful of words (truck, cat, down, no, daddy, shoe) but I like to think he was sorting through those things to share which one he was particularly happy about.

The feeling, unfortunately, is not reciprocated.

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