Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving Thanks In Valleys

I hope your Thanksgiving was full of gratitude, no matter how it was spent.

Ours began like any other. My husband and I were in the kitchen, cooking up something great. This year's sweet goody - Barefoot Contessa's recipe for Pumpkin Roulade. (note on the roulade: we put less cream and make a thinner, but longer and larger roll. divine.). If you have not made it, get it here. It is out of this world (and easy to make!) and made with fresh, organic ingredients (yea for Slow Food!).

Then we got the call.

Our youngest son (2 years old) was found outside, crying, his left arm hanging limply at his side. He had been playing with his older brother (3 years old). We initially thought nothing of the urgent call and the "he's not using his arm" concern my mother voiced (after all, we do have 2 rough and tumble boys. we are used to bumps and scrapes). But as soon as I saw him I knew he really was hurt.

After a trip to the orthopedist and one long arm cast (up to his armpit) later, he is feeling much better. However, "mother guilt" does not go away as quickly as a toddler heals (by the next day we had to stop him from jumping off the couch). I wish I could have been there to prevent him from getting hurt. I naturally, like any mother, want to keep him from pain and suffering.

However, I am still sending up "Thanks." A lesson, I think, we can all learn and "re"learn.
On Thanksgiving day, we were reminded to give thanks, whether on mountains or in valleys.

Here is what I learned on Thanksgiving day:
  • I am thankful our little guy was hurt no worse. Wisdom in mothering brings the realization that our children will have to undergo adversity to realize their own strength. The worse thing I could do as a mother would be to try and shelter my sons from all conflict and suffering. As mothers, the most we can do is be attentive and stay close by to pick them up when they fall down. ~ "Adversity introduces a man to himself."
  • I am thankful we had access to good health care. Plenty of Americans, some of my own family included, are uninsured or have little insurance. At our family gathering we had an orthopedic nurse and myself, both trained in emergency care. Now we'll be following up with a pediatric orthopedist this week, at one of the best children's hospitals in the country.
  • I am thankful our family was able to all gather together. We had plenty of healthy food, a warm place to enjoy it, and lots of love to go 'round. There are many who have so much less than we do in America. This season, give to others who have less than you. One day in a soup kitchen, a donation to an organization like Heifer International, or making cookies or bread for a neighbor who is shut in, can make a world of difference.
I hope that on your Thanksgiving day, you had plenty of Thanks to offer up. In America, we enjoy many blessings. Gratitude should be the theme of our Holiday this Season.

*photo is our son, 1 day after the injury, enjoying his first Christmas tree "hunt."

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