I am grateful for sick days, when my children cuddle limply in my arms. My faults fade when all they want is their mama. I’m grateful for the way their illnesses illuminate the vulnerability of their bodies, so I can better appreciate their fleeting presence as children in my life. I’m glad for the way their temporary weakness revives in them their babyhood, and their appreciation of the simple comfort of my fingers combing through their damp hair.
I am so grateful for the words that have come before me, for the smell of libraries, for the sound of pages turned, for the soft texture of paper in my hands, for the compulsion that drives great authors to tell their stories, for the time I’m granted to read them…for these books.
That there are two of us to hold the hope of our marriage, those days when my grip fails.
For the ice cream cone my daughter made for me this morning – a small, thumb-sized twig, damp granules of playground sand still clinging to it – caramel with chocolate sauce. She carried hers upright all the way into daycare with complete sincerity and pride.
For purple house finch in her soft dun coat, tapping at the birdhouse as she considers it for a nest, whose feathers glint with hidden orange and rose when she turns her throat to the sun.
For the highway patrol officer, solidly perched on his motorcycle, pointing his speedgun directly at my windshield, reminding me of the most important thing: Drive, just drive.
For the heart sticker that my son spontaneously pasted on the back of my iPhone as it sat, face down, on the table next to our Valentine supplies. Reminding me every time I see it of the most important person.
For the man who said to me tonight, I can listen.