I can’t believe that a month has already passed. As I sit here drafting this post, I am at a loss for where to start, what to include, what to focus on. Since we just celebrated Thanksgiving, and there is so much to give thanks for, I am going to let that be my guiding focus.
I have been noting daily gratitudes, and there are definitely common threads which reappear often: family and friends, health, unseasonably warm weather, and my students who keep in touch and surprise me.
Additionally, the space and time away from the blog and social media has allowed me to really focus on what matters most to me – family. I have been practicing giving myself grace and not pushing myself too much. If the kids get fed, cleaned and dressed throughout the day, I have done my job. Maybe MC got a lot of screen time, maybe I didn’t go out and clean the yard on a beautiful day in November, and perhaps the laundry and dishes are piling up…But is the family fed and happy? Then it was a successful day and I can’t try to measure myself against anyone else and what they accomplished in a given day.
When others have come over and helped out, I have learned to let it be and be appreciative of the help. Towels not folded like I fold them? Who cares – they’re washed and put away. Silverware not organized like I would do it? Oh well, we’ll use it over time and it will get sorted out later.
Friends & Family
For the past month, in the days leading up to our induction and after our homecoming with Mon Amour (MA), family and friends have been here for us – sending texts and well wishes, prayers, and good vibes, taking care of our house and Mon Cœur (MC) while we were at the hospital, sending cards and congratulations.
We have been showered with love, visits, and homemade meals from friends and family near and far. We are well loved, that is for sure, and it’s always nice to feel loved and taken care of.
Chouchou has truly helped me navigate our new family dynamics with grace. He has made sure there is a meal on the table, that I get my rest, and that MC is in bed on time. He has helped me keep up with the laundry and dishes, and cooked a feast for Thanksgiving.
I have enjoyed watching him bond with MC, cuddle with MA, and have appreciated his help with the housework.
MC is a natural big sister. She has been an amazing help with MA, fetching diapers, burp cloths, and wipes. She loves him unconditionally, sings him songs when he starts to cry, and is so, so patient when we can’t get to her right away.
She has also become independent in many ways – clearing the table and putting her dishes in the dishwasher, playing independently, wanting to do everything “myself.” She no longer takes “naps,” instead we both have “recharge time” where she can read, play, or nap in her room for an hour, while I get a breather and recharge for an hour.
There was even a morning that we were going to do pancakes (ha- the ambition!). I had all of the ingredients measured out to make pancakes together. However, MA woke up and needed to be fed, so I left MC in the kitchen to mix the ingredients together. She made the pancake batter and then waited….and waited…and waited for me to be free to cook them for us.
MA has been a blessing, a renewed hope, and a reason to be grateful. He’s our little miracle, and another raison d’être (reason to be), along with MC. It’s hard to believe that he is one month today.
His smiles, coos, and belly laughs while dreaming make me melt. He has started to be alert more, showing us his fierce blue sapphire eyes, and I have enjoyed the tender snuggles, especially when he reaches out his hand to mine and grasps it.
Unseasonably warm weather
We have been taking advantage of the sunny, mild weather to get outside as much as possible for walks and to play. I’m not sure what kind of winter we will have – we can always speculate and predict, but I’m just taking it one day at a time and enjoying all the rays of sunshine and beautiful weather that comes our way. It’s unreal to think that it’s November and mid-60’s, but I’ll take it!
We have been able to take daily walks through Millie’s garden, which until the frost last week, we enjoyed the abundant Morning Glory blooms along a vines wall of green. The chrysanthemums were especially bountiful this year and provided beautiful fall colors of gold and burnt orange, and our camellias have just started to bloom as the days grow cooler and shorter. Surprisingly, our phlox continues to sprawl and even flower.
I always love walking through the garden because whenever I see a flower in bloom, I remember the friend who gave the plant to us and the love they have for us. It’s like getting a big old hug from them.
Out of the blue, I heard from a student on Thanksgiving morning. She had found my blog and emailed to thank me for teaching her French. My jaw dropped and my heart swelled when I read her thank you email. It was totally unexpected, and although I think of my students often, I never expected to hear from them. That was the loveliest surprise and way to start off my day!
I’ve had many students (and parents) throughout my career that have expressed thanks, or that I keep in touch with and that keep me updated about them. I really appreciate that – it’s these relationships and the gratitude of students that is fuel to this teacher’s soul. It’s these little things that I remember and that I miss most.
Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.Robert Brault
Finding at least one specific thing, no matter how small, to be grateful about each day has helped me to see all the wonder in my life. Sure I could tell you about the sleepless nights, the moments when MC or I have lost patience with each other, the little things that have set me off…but choosing to focus on the positive little things that make me smile and make my heart sing cultivates a better mindset.
I have read many articles recently that discuss the merits of practicing gratitude, being content, and living in the now. I look around the house and see so many projects that I want to accomplish, work that I want to do with MC, and blog posts that I want to write. But at the end of the day, all that really matters is the little things, and living each little moment to the fullest. I also know the specific details of these little things may be forgotten one day, so documenting it today will help me remember later.
I hope that in this season you are able to find joy and gratitude in your day to day!