Whenever we reflect upon reasons for which we are thankful, our minds immediately go to the obvious answers of things such as family and friends, our homes and our health. When we take the time to dig a little deeper, and think about the reasons why we are thankful for certain people, places, things, and experiences in our lives, we start to unearth a multitude of blessings that we might, otherwise, overlook.
My husband and I recently kept our four grandchildren for a few days, while their parents were out of town. There are the “obvious” reasons why I’m thankful for our grandkids and that special time that we got to spend together. I had planned many different things to make sure their time at our home would be fun, and we did have blast. But I’m most grateful for the unplanned, unexpected moments that occurred.
It started with the excitement on their faces when they walked in the door, and all of the chatter about how many days they got to spend with us. After welcome hugs and snacks, each of the kids started creating their own play spaces of army bases, American Girl dolls, super heroes, and cowboys on the farm. I’m thankful that we have toys for them at our house which they are always eager to play with, and that they have creative imaginations.
They played by themselves. They played together. The older ones helped the younger ones set up an ice cream shop. The boys marveled at their sister’s fancy doll party.
They played pirates, dancing around the house in their costumes, and having secret pirate meetings behind closed doors. I soon realized the conspiracy when they bounded into the kitchen and shouted,
“Hand over the cookies or walk the plank, Matey!”
That was one of the funniest, most treasured (and unexpected) memories from our time together, and I handed over the cookies!
We had baked the cookies as an after dinner snack, and they were still warm from the oven. Rather than just scarfing them down, they took the time to relish each and every bite. I love the fact that they think a warm cookie is something special.
I also love it that they got so excited over the fact that I had purchased new toothbrushes for each of them. Who knew that handing over a 4-pack of toothbrushes would be so exciting, as they carefully debated who would get which color.
I cherish the memories of them laughing hysterically over the silliest things, of them leading all of the other kids on the playground in a game of Dragons and Knights, and of the extended conversation about how the grapes were the biggest and sweetest ones they had ever tasted.
I’m thankful for the hugs, the smiles, and the sweet words of love. I’m thankful that my grandkids are grateful for little things and simple gestures in life.
As excited as the grandkids were to come to our house for an extended stay, they were equally excited when it was time to go home and be reunited with their parents. They know there is always a lot of fun to be had at Mimi’s and Pappy’s house, but they also know there is no place like home. I’m grateful they realize that, and I’m grateful that their parents have created such a loving home environment for them.
After a few days of endless fun and laughter and noise, I was also thankful for the quiet stillness of my home, once again. I used that time to dig a little deeper, to give thanks, not just for the big, exciting moments, but also for the simpler, unexpected ones. Those are the moments that hold the most cherished memories.