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Almost every night, before the girls start eating, Dylan, Summer and I  share our gratitude list. Ok, sometimes they’ve already started eating. Sometimes they’ve started eating and I suddenly realize that they forgot to wash their hands so I grab a wipe and madly start cleansing their hands while they shove pasta in their mouths.

And then we talk about our gratitude list. It goes like this…

“I’m grateful for the earth and air and all the trees because without trees we couldn’t breathe and then we would die,” Dylan shares. A bit dark but still a nice sentiment.

“I’m grateful for God and ice cream,” Summer chimes in. Interesting combo.

“I’m grateful for my two beautiful girls, my loving husband and all our blessings,” I say.

At which point Dylan groans and says, “But you ALWAYS say that.” Because apparently I’m so boring when it comes to gratitude. Clearly, I’ve got to make my gratitude list a bit fresher and more unpredictable.

We’ve been doing this for weeks and just today, Dylan asks, “What does grateful mean?” so I’m thinking she’s been missing the central message of this exercise.

I think I finally explained gratitude and why we focus on giving thanks on this holiday.

I really am a Thanksgiving girl because if you forget about the bloated feeling from eating too much food and awkward conversations with distant relatives and sitting in traffic on the Jersey turnpike… it’s all about gratitude. Which is just warm and fuzzy.

Unlike Christmas, you don’t have to worry about whether Uncle Jon liked that shirt you bought from JC Penney or maybe you should have gone with the belt and now that you think about it, did you leave the sales tag on?

Or whether you tipped the mailman enough so that he’ll actually keep delivering your mail.

Or whether your neck looks fat in your holiday photo.

No, at Thanksgiving you can just take a moment to think about all the stuff in your life that brings you joy and fulfillment and just makes you feel whole.

And if Dylan and Summer think of me as the boring mom who was always grateful for the two of them, well, I can definitely live with that.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Thank you for taking the time out of your very full lives to read the mama bird diaries. I am so very grateful. xo

22 Responses to the gratitude list (because it’s thanksgiving people!)

  • Bitsy says:

    My kids did the same thing to me last night. I went last and when I said I’m grateful for my family, they said, “Well, duh.” But I’m still grateful! Happy Thanksgiving, Kelcey, to you and your beautiful family!

  • erinb says:

    I am thankful I have a place to blog at from time to time so I don’t have the daunting task of starting my own 🙂 happy thanlsgiving! xoxo gg

  • Marinka says:

    To make it more fun, why not leave one of the kids off the gratitude list every once in a while? It will create a precious memory!

    Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  • Sara says:

    Happy Thanksgiving mama – I hope it’s awesome! And I know that at my thanksgiving table this year, during my speech (haha), I will definitely tell everyone how thankful I am for the mamabirddiaries, and how they lift me up when I’m feeling down! Ok – def not going to say that, but I’ll be thinking it! xoxo

  • Gretchen says:

    I can’t believe your neck ever looks fat in your holiday photo. But I know what you mean. I agree about Thanksgiving. I do love me some Christmas, but it’s become just so much work that it’s kind of stopped being fun. Sad, I guess.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Happy Holidays to your entire family; lots of cup cakes/ice cream/goodies to eat. Lots of relatives and family to love and love back to. Good health and pleasant dreams. How grateful we all can be…

  • barb says:

    I’ve posted this elsewhere, too, but thought I’d share it here as well —

    Things I am thankful for (at least for this weekend):

    1. Friends (who invite us over for Thanksgiving every year; they do the bulk of the cooking, the kids have fun together, and there’s no traffic problems getting there or getting home)

    2. Good weather (we live in California, and it was glorious on Thanksgiving day; we pay a lot for our real estate, but sometimes it’s worth it)

    3. Lego (it keeps our little guy engaged and happy and creative for hours on end)

    4. Books (they keep our oldest engaged and happy and creative for hours on end)

    5. Our little neighborhood grocery store (no huge lines, no traffic getting in and out, and most items you need)

    6. Leftovers

    7. Batter Blaster (organic pancake batter in a spray can; the kids can make their own warm breakfast while we sleep in or read the paper; no giant mess left behind either)

    8. Good movies on TV (the holidays always bring out the better programming)

    9. Work (thankful my husband has it and we’re doing okay, as many others are not so fortunate; wishing them all well)

    10. Each other (our boys and my husband make life great)

  • Haley J says:

    Yes on tipping the mail carrier. We have a regular UPS guy who is great and we have a tough driveway — tipping him too.
    Between that and all the teacher/coach/babysitter gifts we decided we can’t get the kids anything this year. Ha ha.
    Someone above mentioned Batter Blaster. A friend gave me a can as a gift, for a lark. But then the stinkers found it and made a batch themselves and they were actually pretty good.
    The older ones are apparently capable of feeding themselves now which means one step closer to ignoring them completely.
    Kidding. Mostly.

kelcey kintner