Sunday, November 23, 2014

Moments of Thankfulness

"I have a turkey, big and fat
He spreads his tail and walks like that.
His daily corn he would not miss.
And when he talks it sounds like this:
Gobble, gobble, gobble!!"

I've been hearing tidbits of Thanksgiving songs for a couple weeks now. Jack will mutter a lyric here and there as he's working on a puzzle or playing with his toys,

"What are you singing?"

"Nothing," comes the standard response. "It's for my program at school. It's a surprise."

Even Henry has picked up on the Turkey song. He waddles around the house with his arms stretched wide repeating "Big and fat! Big and fat!" Sometimes he'll throw in a "Gobble, gobble, gobble!" for good measure.

My curiosity was finally quelled last week at my firstborn's theatrical debut.

Jack and his Kindergarten classmates lined the small stage wearing the traditional Thanksgiving construction paper hats. There were Native Americans with paper headbands and floppy feathers. The Pilgrim women donned the customary napkin bonnets. Jack looked adorable in his crooked Pilgrim hat. He beamed and waved excitedly when he saw us in the audience. 
If they're not already, Thanksgiving hats should definitely be a Kindergarten requirement.
Can he write his name? Check. Can he count by tens? Check. Did he wear a paper Pilgrim hat? CHECK!

The class sang songs about fall and the month of November and big, fat turkeys, complete with adorable hand-motions and silly sound effects. 

At one point each child held up a drawing and shared with the crowd what they were thankful for this year. "I'm thankful for my family!" one eager boy exclaimed. 
"I'm thankful for snow!" shouted a sweet little girl. 
"I'm thankful for my friends!" 
"I'm thankful for Jesus!" 
Then Jack hopped up and held his picture high. "I'm thankful for MY TOYS!"

I immediately made a mental note to plan more play dates with the little girl who is most thankful for Jesus. 
Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like a weapon-wielding, Samurai ninja warrior. 

The last song, naturally, was one about being thankful. As the boys and girls sang about all the things they were thankful for, I thought about my oldest child, sitting there on that stage looking so boyish, so different from the little baby with the chunky cheeks.

I am thankful that I have been given the most important job of all: raising a child. The thing is, most days I have no idea what I'm doing. I am simply holding the hand of my firstborn and we are treading unknown waters together. Concerns constantly flood my mind. Are we too hard on him? Not hard enough? Does he eat too much junk? Should he watch less TV? Do I spend enough one-on-one time with him? Are we teaching him to love God? To love others?.

As the song ended, the children all sang the last line with gusto, their little voices proclaiming loudly, "And most of all I'm thankful for YOU!!"

And as Jack sang that last line, a big proud grin spread across his face. He looked our way and pointed both fingers right at me and right at his Daddy. "And most of all I'm thankful for YOU!!"

And I knew right then that we are doing just fine. 

This year I'm thankful for those small moments, the ones that are tucked in to the ordinary folds of our everyday lives, the moments that let us know that we are doing just fine.