|Posted by [email protected] on November 24, 2011 at 6:20 AM|
Thanksgiving is a day to reflect on what we are thankful for in our lives. It is about celebrating those we love and appreciating things that go unacknowledged and often taken for granted the rest of the year. So I was thinking about what I’m thankful for and how often I don’t get to consider such things in the midst of the chaos of everyday life. As everyone else is stepping back today to reflect, so am I, and here are just a few of the many things I am grateful for in my life.
My children. They are both the biggest challenge and the biggest reward I’ve ever had. Our house is a constant tornado of energy and insanity, always an absolute disaster. The antique couch I kept so meticulously pristine before kids is now stained with juice and markers; the floor is constantly covered in car magazines, random Goldfish crackers that somehow spilled from their bowl, blocks, and whatever item they are fixated on any particular day. Cleaning up when they’re gone is pointless if a disaster is inevitable once their little feet make it through the door again, and yet I’d have it no other way. Of course, I miss sleeping and writing at a time a day that wasn’t before sunrise, but they are amazing, little people that reward me everyday for my sacrifices with hugs and blessings that exceed anything I myself could want. Our challenge is greater than a lot of other families because our son is autistic. Because of his situation,every detail of our life has had to change. It’s been a learning experience that never ends, and yet I am so grateful for the joy he brings us with every achievement we see him make. I am equally grateful for my daughter; she is dramatic and still going through terrible 2’s even at almost 3! But she is the bright spot in the house and always ready to hug her brother and take care of him first.
My husband. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful friend and love. He is the only man I could imagine would go into an American Girl store with both kids screaming just to get a doll and surprise me at my recital. Not many husbands would do that. He supports my career and my hobbies, my odd tendencies and dramatics over every recital and every review for a new story; he is the greatest father, always ready to make himself look ridiculous even in public if it means making one of the kids smile. I couldn’t do anything without him.
My writing. Forthe first time in my life, I’m doing what I truly love and being recognized for it, and that is an amazing feeling. How long did I write stories and bury them away in closets with no intention of showing anyone? Now I feel like the characters I create and write matter to other people as much as they matter to me. Through my writing, I’ve found my niche, and it is something I will never take for granted. I am so lucky to have such wonderful fans, to have made such wonderful friends, and to have been able to touch so many lives with my stories.
My health and being able to sing again. I had a rough year health-wise, which included spending over half of it sick. It started with a horrible acid reflux attack a year ago. I truly believed I was dying, that my entire life was over and done because it felt like what I imagine a heart attack does. I remember being so afraid, and nothing after that was the same. Medication didn’t help as it should, and doctors were not sympathetic. I was afraid every time I sang that I would trigger another attack because it was so out of control. When you’re sick every single day, you start to forget what it feels like to be healthy and believe you’ll never BE healthy again. It took my parents dragging me up to University of Chicago to finally get a new medication and answers I needed. To me, being able to perform the recital in October was the real test,and thankfully, all was well and continues to be.
Thanksgiving is about remembering what is important, and these are just a few of the things I’m grateful for in my life. Today, I’ll include the joy of cooking a turkey from my mother’s recipe and being home with the kids, putting up our Christmas village while the turkey is in the oven, eating pie and watching “The Santa Clause” as we do every year. Every tradition is something worth blessing and appreciating. And I wish all of you a million of your own and a happy Thanksgiving and holiday season.