Chicago mom on being thankful in spite of dark times

I am thankful.

Perhaps the world would prefer it if I was not. In light of all the turmoil and public discord, maybe I am supposed to be marching somewhere. Maybe I am supposed to be adding to the heated social media debate. Maybe I’m supposed to be yelling at someone and refusing to acknowledge that individual human perspective is steeped almost entirely in personal experience.

And maybe one person’s perspective can be just as valid as someone else’s without name-calling, diminishing, and shaming. You wouldn’t think that notion is even possible based on the nightly news.

Still, I remain thankful.

I am thankful to have been parented by two people who loved their children deeply. Yet they also did not believe in creating a bubble of perfect childhood. There were disappointments, failures and heartaches. And behind every unhappiness, there was also the message that we were important and much stronger than we knew.

It was this childhood that led me to my husband. Understanding that life brings great uncertainty, I sought a partner capable of weathering the storm. Joe is my ideal match. He is the sanity to my insanity. He is firmly grounded but does not mind my tendency to fly.

He thinks I am funny. I think he is noble.

Joe helped create the part of my life for which I am most thankful: motherhood. There has never been anything I wanted more than being a mom. Career success, travel, awards and accolades … none of these were imperative to my happiness.

But motherhood?

It was my Holy Grail. For many complex reasons, I did not believe it would ever happen.

But it finally did. I will spend the rest of my life offering up a silent prayer of thanks for this extraordinary journey.

Sure, maybe I’m not exactly baking brownies or volunteering for the PTA. And I am quite likely that mom you hear dropping all the colorful language at Sports Authority when Jack can’t find the Batman basketball shoes he wants and freaks the flip out.

I think it is normal to take our most precious gifts for granted in the midst of living.

And to swear at Sports Authority.

But this Thanksgiving, I recognize that countless people are missing a child to hug, a partner to stand with them, and the belief that they are important and stronger than they think.

While I cannot help with the first two, I am trying my best to raise boys who respect those with whom they disagree. I want them also to know that the darkest moments must be endured in order to get to a new and bright morning.

In the end, it is the promise of tomorrow that sustains us.

I thank all of Chicago Parent’s readers for continuing to read my ramblings. I wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving with limited swearing and plenty of Batman shoes.

Marianne

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