Every night we eat dinner together as a family. And at some point during the meal, we go around the table and each share one thing from our day for which we’re thankful. We’ve done this for a few years and include any guest who eats with us in the ritual. (Lucky guests!)
My younger son, who is four years old, often expresses his thanks for a food item on his plate.
“Tonight I’m thankful we have milk.”
“I’m thankful I have a burrito.”
“Ummmm….I am thankful for this orange!” “For this carrot!” “For my noodles!” You get the idea.
The rest of us nod, waiting to share our more “enlightened” reasons for giving thanks. I mean, really, he’s just looking at his plate for a clue as to what he should say. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)
Tonight I realized: he’s got the right idea.
Yes, we should be thankful for the lofty things the rest of us mention when giving thanks: our family, a good spelling test, the arrival of a weekend, a pleasant day together, or safe travel home from a vacation. But at the core, we must also be grateful for the basic necessities we enjoy. The things we have that many others don’t. The food that is on our table. The blankets on our beds. The hot water in our pipes. The roof over our heads. The new shoes we purchase (at least once) for our sons every year.
This Thursday, I’m thankful for a powerful life lesson from the most thoughtful four-year-old boy I know. (And, yes, I’m thankful for the burrito, too.)
Blogathon note: Thursdays in the month of May (and who knows, maybe beyond) will officially be Thankful Thursdays. Tune in to get your dose of weekly gratitude, Motherlogue style.