Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Three Favorite Things

Dear Em,
I read a blog post a few months back about practicing thankfulness. One family ends every day by listing their three favorite things from that day. There were many reasons why they did this. They want their kids to realize & be grateful for what they have. They wanted to have a daily discussion with their kids about their day. Most of all, they hope that by thinking of their three favorite things each day, their children will be better prepared to see the blessings that surround them even when they face tough times.

I loved the idea, & we've started to practice thankfulness in our house as well. For me, the discussion fits nicely during our prayers at night. There are some nights that you mostly forget anything you experienced during the day. On those nights, all of your favorite things are typically things we just did (taking a bath, reading books, snuggling). Most nights, I'm really pleasantly surprised by the things you list.

You almost always include playing with your little friends or members of our family. We talk about how fortunate we are to have so many incredible people in our lives that we can share precious moments with. You talk a lot about reading with Daddy & I. I think part of that is because you love to read, but part of it is we just finished reading & it's the activity most fresh in your mind. Sometimes you find you have more than 3 things that you want to share. You list crafts we did together, games you played, parks you visited, & even being able to watch TV. You almost never list the things that you own, but rather the activities that you shared with others. It's refreshing for me to hear, especially when I sometimes feel pressured to fill our home with everything you want.

Last week we had a really tough day. I mean, it was mostly a tough day for you, but it can be really hard for me as a parent to watch you go through something traumatic. You had an altercation on the playground which landed us in the pediatrician's office with you needing to get stitches on your forehead above your eye. You were a champ, but it was a lot for a little love. It was a lot for me to hear that your childhood altercation was going to be a permanent fixture on your forehead. Yup, you'll likely be rocking a small scar in your future.

As I tucked you into bed, we said our prayers, & I asked you about your three favorite things. You could have listed nothing & instead wallowed in your traumatic experience. You could have told me it was an awful day & nothing about it was your favorite, but you didn't. You talked about a little friend who helped you when you were hurt. You talked about getting a sticker at the pediatricians office. You talked about Grandma, Papa, Daddy, & I being there to watch your gymnastics practice. It brought tears to my eyes that you were able to see the good in what seemed to me like a bad day.

After giving you one last kiss & saying goodnight, I tried to follow your lead. I thought about my favorite things that day. I thought the support that we had gotten that day from your school, your pediatrician's office, our friends, & our family. I thought about your smiles during gymnastics that night.  I thought about how although you had been hurt, I was able to watch you jump & dance & twirl & sing because ultimately you are a healthy & strong little girl. Just like that, a rough day seemed a little brighter & sunnier.

I think our three favorite things has become one of my favorite things that I hope we will do for always.

I love you so,

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