I know it’s a bit cliché and pretty much everyone does this kind of thing at this time of year, but there are so many things that I am thankful for this year that I wanted to write them down and share them.
Three healthy, happy children… I know that a lot of this blog is dedicated to talking about the things that go wrong with the kids, trips to the office, illnesses, and times I’d really just like to rip my hair out. But overall I couldn’t be more thankful for the children that I have. Overall, they’re very healthy. I don’t have to deal with scary illnesses or major surgeries. My kids have your typical colds and flu’s, along with the rare but manageable mallet finger and cradle cap.
Even dealing with Brendan’s Asperger’s is minor. I remember when he was young and we were just delving into all of his developmental delays I had a co-worker listen to me recount all that had gone on at his last therapy session and what all we would be doing over the coming month. Her eyes grew wide and her mouth fell open and she said to me, “I don’t know how you do all that and keep it together. I’d fall apart if I had to deal with all that stuff.” Her comment really surprised me at the time because of course I was dealing with it, what else was there for me to do?
But through the years I’ve seen moms deal with much worse than I ever have. Babies born early, weighing only 2 pounds, needing heart surgery, eye surgery, scary things that I would be nervous about anyone going through, much less my 6 month old. I’ve known too many moms that have had babies in the NICU for months, and one that lost one of her babies before he ever made it home. I look at those moms and wonder, as my co-worker did about me how it’s possible that they deal with those issues. I’m thankful it’s not something I’ve had to experience and learn if I would be able to deal with the harder problems or not.
A loving husband… I can’t say enough how thankful I am to have Matt. Being the eternal planner, list maker, and overall anal-retentive person that I am we commonly joke that without me the house would fall apart. But in reality Matt is just as important to the continued existence of our family as I am. Possibly even more so. I know I couldn’t have made it through the early years of dealing with Brendan’s developmental delays without him.
The stress of wondering why my child wasn’t learning to walk and talk and wondering every time we hit a bump in the road whether or not it was something I did or didn’t do to cause the issues. Matt was always there to lift me up and help us move to the next thing. I was the one dealing with the therapy and appointments, but he was the one giving me the strength to do so.
And security, I can’t say enough about the security he provides to our family. Matt works for a company that is known for laying people off. Something that has worried me all throughout our marriage. But he never worries, his take on it is whatever happens, happens. If he loses his job he’ll get another, or two or three if he has to. He will make certain that nothing happens to our family.
He’s always said it, but I never fully understood or appreciated what that meant until this year. When times got tough Matt was the first to volunteer to take on another job and see us through the hard times. For three months he got up day after day and worked pretty much every hour of the day. He never once complained, never called in sick to either job, was never too tired to spend time with the kids or myself when he did have time at home, never resented me for staying home with the kids while he worked two jobs.
But mostly, I’m thankful that it’s over. I’m thankful that we made our way through this rough patch and that in the past week Matt was able to quit his second job and get our family back to normal. While I appreciate all that he did to keep us financially afloat I’ve come to realize how important he is to the day to day in our house as well and I am so grateful to have him here with us again.
Family… Family is one of those things that are just always there. Since they are family you’re stuck with them whether you want to be or not. Matt and I are lucky in that respect because we get along well with both of our families. But recently I’ve learned to appreciate our families even more. Since Matt’s been working the two jobs both of our families have been there to lend a helping hand any time we’ve needed. I really wouldn’t have expected them to leave us high and dry but still when they come through it makes you appreciate how much worse off you could be.
Friends… I’ve heard it said many many times that going through a tough time will show you who your real friends are. Since posting Reflections a few weeks ago, the outpouring of support from our friends has been amazing. Whether it’s just a supportive shoulder or a well thought out piece of advice we appreciate it all the same.
I’d love to thank each and every person, both family and friend, individually here but as a rule I don’t post anyone’s name in this blog but those of Matt and the kids. So while I can’t thank you by name, you know who you are and I want you to know that Matt and I appreciate all that you’ve done for us now and always.