Have you ever become lost in thoughts of gratitude? I’m not talking just acknowledging the things you feel grateful for then moving on. Those pauses are nessesary and equally wonderful but I’m talking much deeper gratitude. The kind that gets you lost in your thoughts. This has been happening to me much more often. It’s as if I can see my life from an outside view. A movie reel of all this wonderful, messy, goodness I live daily.
I recently took my two kids on a road trip to a lavender festival I’d been dying to check out. We ate breakfast and made our way on a 2 and half hour road trip. We took our time and stopped along the way. There was minimal arguing on the drive up because the kids were excited to be going somewhere new. Once we arrived I let the kids decide the game plan. They chose food first and I was happy to oblige after seeing a row of delicious food trucks lining a path. It was a rare day of “yes”. I let them eat what they wanted and I did the same. We ate edible cookie dough and hot pretzels. We walked rows and rows of vendors. Stopping at every single one. No rushing off to anywhere. It was one of those rare days of just us and zero itinerary. We were all three present and eating up every single moment. At this point there was still very little arguing happening. Which is a rare treat for all. We saved the best for last. The lavender farm. We hopped on a shuttle to the Indigo Lavender Farm where we would each pick our own bundle of lavender. From the moment we stepped off that bus we were in heaven. It’s sounds so cliche but it was so absolutely calming. The smell of lavender was in the air, complete with honey bees and butterflies. We were laughing and sniffing our fresh cuts. The kids were adorably hand selecting every single lavender flower for themselves. We spent almost 2 hours there just wandering row to row. I felt so grateful for that moment, for that day. A day to enjoy my children without all the other distractions or bickering. A day to not be the nag or disciplinarian. I was grateful in the moment but in a fleeting quick thinking sort of way. I quickly would go back to what we were doing and soaking up every last drop of the memory we were creating. We shuttled back and decided to make our way back home. Just like that the arguing returned. The “stop touching me!” And “Mom….she ______” Fill in some sort of tattle, all were back in full swing. They are children after all and it’s inevitable. They were alternating yelling and fighting to laughing in hysterical giggles. I was doing my fare share of yelling because I was in traffic and their yelling was only amping up my anxiety. Then just like that I remembered the day we just had and became lost in thoughts of gratitude. Their giggles and yells we’re muted by my own running dialog of thoughts. I was thinking about what a privledge it was to even have a reliable car or money to drive to something like that. To just go where we wanted without much thought. I’ve been talking to my children a lot about the privilege they had at birth just by having been born in this country. I’m not sure they totally get it yet but I’ll be sure they do. It’s so difficult to watch the news or think about all of the horrible things happening in the world right now. So maybe part of my deep thoughts of gratitude are partly due to guilt. As I drove home that afternoon in my Chevy Traverse and my two healthy children I couldn’t help but think about mothers out there somewhere just trying to feed their children. The mothers who were desperately trying to find ways to make life better for their children. Because regardless of who we are or where we are from, mothers have a common bond. We all just want to make life better for our children. We want them safe. That led to the feeling of anguish thinking about the mothers who’s children were ripped away from them right here in my own country. I find myself looking at my own life in a way I never have before. Gratitude! Gratitude that the things often viewed as simple would be someone else’s dream come true. Somewhere there is a mother just wishing she had her babies to hold. Somewhere there is a mother hoping she has enough money to feed her children. It’s much easier to find gratitude in your day, even the not so sunshiny ones if you just think someone, somewhere has even less and is still grateful for it all.