2013-things-of-thanks | Week 47

People ask me – kind of tongue-in-cheek, but also kind of intrigued – if this thanksgiving journey has changed me. If I’m happier. If the raft of research proving the optimism bias really holds sway in the human psyche.

The short answer: yes.

Because for sure when I’m intentional about watching and listening and feeling for beauty it flavours and fragrances my world and each exquisite moment is allowed to exist just then, for what it is, without being frayed at the edges by gnawing worries or squashed by adjacent less exquisite moments. I catch myself in pockets of peace here and there on each humdrum or frenetic or orderly or unravelling day going, ‘Right now I am wondrously happy. Like, wow.’

My 39 things for the week:


1798 More hand-me-down audio books from Shale for the boys

1799 Space in our days for Scott to sleep when the heat and busyness of November affect even him

1800 Boys revelling in the excitement of an upcoming camping weekend by unpacking everything I’m trying to pack

1801 Comfortable silence of watching cricket with Andrew

1802 Ena’s dimple when she laughs

1803 Murray seeing and knowing the things I do

1804 Scott’s exuberant hand gestures and melt-my-heart blue-eyed wonder-filled explanations of the adventures that fill his days

1805 Cam’s request for chocolate muffins –

1806 And helping me bake them –

1807 And eat them –

1808 And how I’ve never grown out of licking the bowl –

1809 And how I think I’ve passed that on to my children

1810 Scott’s kind encouragement while Cam does his homework: ‘Well done Cam! Good job!’

1811 Helping out at the dress rehearsal of Cam’s school nativity concert – trying to get wise men and sheep – squirming ecstatic – to hold still for crowns and cloaks and woolly onesies

1812 Watching the dress rehearsal and sobbing (like, embarrassing sobbing) because sparkle-and-music and Christmas-hope and my brave Cam on the edges of brave new worlds are all heart-triggers that bring to the spilling-over surface things that on a normal Wednesday morning would be lying quietly in my deepest places but that will always take the gap if I give it to them because I didn’t cry all the tears I needed to, 5 ½ years ago

1813 NOT crying on the night of the actual production

1814 Cam playing Joseph and me thinking, ‘Today Hatfield. Tomorrow Broadway.’ –

1815 And then Joseph wiping snot on his dressing-gown costume, centre-stage and insouciant

1816 My mom wearing bright yellow, as she’d promised, so that Cam might just spot her in the third row

1817 My mom-in-law calling out, ‘Go Cammy!’ after a song and his smile that said he’d heard her

1818 Scott’s request to be in the concert with Cammy –

1819 And his relenting obedience rather to sit on my lap – riveted throughout

1820 An angel who lost her tinsel – yelled at a star – burst into tears – eventually recovered – continued waving wildly at her parents

1821 Joseph, Mary and The Big Star’s off-kilter but magnificently sweet sincere singing

1822 Five-year-olds declaring the truth, ‘He brings his love for everyone, He is Jesus God’s own Son… And his love will make us shine… Hallelujah!’

1823 Teacher Karen’s perfect choice of graduation gift book for each of the little people she knows so well –

1824 And how her unaffected, swathing love for the children she teaches can fill a room –

1825 And how we could never put a price on what she has meant to our family this year

1826 Finding that Father Christmas had come while we were at the concert: one early Christmas present waiting under the tree for each of the boys

1827 Cam’s jump-up-and-down delight at a new bike which he promptly rode around the lounge

1828 Divine appointment: queuing behind Michelle in Pick ‘n Pay and subsequent coffee and catching up

1829 Cam, Scott, Meagan and Craig riding bikes round a flat, oval parking lot – the thrill of their own race track

1830 Shale getting out of bed early on a Saturday morning to rescue me: (another) puncture –

1831 And my dad coming to fetch the boys while the offending nail was removed and the tyre repaired

1832 Scott growing in swimming-lesson confidence

1833 Elaine’s recommendation of some great kids’ books

1834 Murray’s clear discernment about Cam’s opportunities and challenges at school next year

1835 The boys whining just a little less than normal

1836 Rare silence and bliss of simultaneous Saturday afternoon snoozes


Photo credit


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s