…of gratitude!  Which means that after almost 4.5 years of drumming the phrase “You should be thankful” and encouraging her to say “thank you” to every living creature (including her bathwater after she’s bathed) something seems to be sticking!  Every so often she will get this pensive look on her face and then say, “I’m thankful that God made that tree.”  Or “I’m thankful that I have boots for when it rains AND shoes for when it doesn’t.”  She tries to teach her brother our Thanks For Making Me Clean song which he screams through as he hates bath-time coming to an end.

The other day I dared to grumble and complain about something in her presence and she very firmly reminded me, “Mommy, you should be thankful…”

Point taken.

She and her father have come up with a daily ritual.  They each take turns telling the other what they are grateful for.  They each get to select how many gratitudes to name.  (She’s big on numbers right now, her favourite being 1600.  Thankfully, they cap the gratitudes at 6 to allow life to go on).  This is what she said this morning:

  1.  I’m thankful for my family.
  2. I’m thankful for my heart.
  3. I’m thankful for my food.
  4. I’m thankful for my clothes.
  5. I’m thankful for my camera.
  6. I’m thankful I have a baby brother.

I beamed when #5 made the list!  Do you see that?  Our creative interests and passions start YOUNG!!  And if you’ve seen my daughter in action, you know that she takes her picture-snapping very seriously.  Ask your child or someone else’s child what they’re thankful for and see if ballet slippers, art teacher, the colour yellow or a song makes the list.

Inaya reveling in the role of photographer!

On a related note, being thankful for a situation and settling for a situation are two different things in my world.  When my daughter complains about not having something or not being allowed/able to do something, my automatic response is “You should be thankful that you have what you do, or that you are allowed to _______.”  My next thought is, “Gee, I hope I’m not teaching her that she should quietly accept a situation the way it is and not strive for what she truly wants.”  There is a difference.  Hopefully I can model this difference for her so that she can absorb it by osmosis.  Being more involved in the social change movements that tug at my heart, exposing her to people/organizations who work hard to better the lives of others…those are a couple of things I can aim for over our journey together.

Does this difference exist in your world?   I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts.

You should know by now that having the capacity to share my thoughts with you through this blog is one of my deepest gratitudes.  Tomorrow I will post my next giveaway in honour of being thankful – stay tuned!