Family life

4 things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving

As she sits down with her family this Thanksgiving, Jennifer is thankful for the life she has — even if it's not the one she imagined.

By Jennifer Pinarski
4 things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving

Gillian and Murphy playing on our riverfront.

Almost a year ago, I realized that this SAHM gig didn't come exactly as advertised. No one told me my kids would be non-stop demanding, noisy whirligigs and that I’d be jealous of my working-mom pals who dropped their children off at daycare. Just for a minute, I wanted to miss my children.
Yesterday, I snapped this picture of Gillian and Murphy playing on our riverfront and it struck me — kids really do grow up too fast. Missing from this year’s picture is my grade one son, who is at school blazing his own little trail and there is my no-longer-a-baby girl, fearlessly climbing trees and carving out her own place in the world. It reminded me that I need to stop worrying about the could-have/would-have situations if we’d stayed in the city and I’d kept my job. I need to be thankful for what we do have, even if it’s not the life I imagined.
  • Home. This is the one I struggle with the most. Compared to our suburban Winnipeg house, our 900 sq.ft. cottage home is tiny, storage is at a premium and I feel like we’re always bumping into each other. On the upside, it’s easy to clean, taxes and mortgage payments are affordable on one income and you can’t beat the scenery and community.
  • Independence. My husband and I are teaching the kids the skills they need to make their own decisions — even if it means our son goes to school in a t-shirt on a cold day because that’s the choice he made and my daughter won’t be stuck on my hip forever.
  • Health. Poison ivy aside, my family is healthy.
  • Creativity. The Lego that seems to breed and multiply overnight on my living room floor and the purple marker all over Gillian’s bedroom walls are signs that my kids are creative. Could Isaac’s Lego masterpieces be the beginnings of a career as an architect? Maybe Gillian has a bright future of being a commissioned graffiti artist. Besides, it’s washable (I hope). 
This weekend when you’re bickering with your spouse about gravy recipes and your children are flinging Thankgiving dinner at each other, embrace the noise and mess. I know will.
What are you thankful for this year?
This article was originally published on Oct 05, 2012

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