As I mentioned this week,Thanksgiving and all the other lovely holidays of the season are fast-approaching (less than one week ’til the gobble-fest, y’all), which means it’s time for me to sit down and think about what it is I am thankful for this year, so here it goes.
First things first… I am thankful for the things that I (and many others) take for granted in the day-to-day, such as my and my family’s overall good health (despite a handful young and old who may suffer occasional setbacks, we are thankful they are still with us!). I am also grateful that most of my friends also find themselves in decent health (knocking all things wood right now as I write this). I am thankful for C (xxoo) and that he holds a job that allows me to stay at home and be with T during the day and also allows him to be home every night for dinner with us (and I’m thankful C is here to make us those dinners, ahhh). And, of course, I am thankful for T being in our lives as I absolutely cannot imagine life without his beautiful, spunky spirit. I am thankful we have a roof over our head, food in the fridge, and clothes in our closets. I think that covers the big ones anyway. But on another note, yet one much related to the holiday upcoming, I am thankful for the opportunities we’ve had lately to give to others. We’ve really tried to focus lately on giving our time, used things (with plenty of use left), and creativity to those causes that not only mean a lot to our family but mean something to family and friends, too.
Most recently, I have been giving some of my time to T’s school to help with their upcoming silent auction at their end-of-the-year event. That experience has been rewarding on so many levels, mainly because I’ve witnessed that as I take just a couple of minutes of my time to ask a business for a donation to our event, more often than not these businesses are happy to step up and help however they can, even in these tough economic times. Two to five minutes of my time per business times about 15 businesses has elicited close to $400 in donated items thus far. While I am nowhere near done with that effort just yet, I think that’s a pretty good amount for it representing only 40 percent of those asked. PS – My many thanks to those local (mostly small) businesses who have donated their goods to this cause! PPS – To parents reading this who will be attending this event: Bid early and often (and thank you in advance)!
We are also involved in another task at the moment that’s going to take up a bit of our time over the next couple of weeks, and that is being a part of the team that will build our mommy group’s holiday parade float. Yep, that’s right, we’re going to be in a parade! And with C’s mad skills (saw, drill, etc.), we’re trying to do it right so that we can have a lot of parent-kiddo pairs safely up on that float representing the parade’s theme of reduce, renew, recycle. This message is also a mission of our group, so we are very excited to take part in spreading the word. I am thankful that C has stepped to help design and construct the float’s framework because while we mamas may have a LOT of great big artistic ideas, C definitely has the wherewithal to turn those ideas into safe and structurally sound designs. So… anyone want to come over this weekend and help us paint? We’d sure be thankful for the help!
Lastly, I am thankful for good neighbors, and not just when times are good but for when times get tough and call for swift, imminent assistance. This week, the Bischofberger family (husband and wife with a girl, 5, and boy, 2) drove down from Northern California in a U-Haul holding all their worldly possessions. Unfortunately, within an hour of their arrival, their U-Haul was stolen. You might have even heard their story earlier this week (they were on The Ellen DeGeneres Show after all… way to go, Ellen!). Well, to me this was not just another faceless, nameless news headline in the mix, as I’d heard about it from my friend E right after it happened; it was her neighbor’s brother’s family, which really made it all the more personal. It also happened within a few short miles of our home and pretty much across the street from where T goes to school. With all of those close connections, I immediately felt compelled to help, but just what did we have to give that would actually help? We’d just given a ton of clothes and toys through a hand-me-down event, and we didn’t have any old appliances, furniture, or kitchenware lying around, so we really didn’t have anything to offer there.
But then I looked across the room and saw the two Britax car seats that T just outgrew. That was it; I knew in my gut that this family was getting one of these seats. It took a few days for me to verify it, but I finally found out that, yes, a car seat definitely was something they needed and could use (again thanks to my friend E for being such a great liaison!). Once I finally met with the family’s mom (sweet woman, by the way), I was so thankful we had this seat to give. Turns out while the family has one car seat for the little boy, they do have two cars; with this second seat, they no longer had to move the one seat back-and-forth from one car to the other. As a parent who’s dealt with car seat installation and adjustments, I knew that was nothing they had time for with everything else going on (new city, new house), so I am thankful that I was able to give something that will make their days a little easier-going, especially given the uneasy experience they’d just gone through. And I am thankful that this family may now be getting the welcome to our city that they deserve; from the sounds of it, they finally are, as dozens if not hundreds of folks have stepped up to offer support to this family during this difficult time (way to go Long Beach, and beyond!).
I hope you, too, can give thanks for giving this holiday season, RMT’ers!