Day # 4: I'm thankful that Hartly has taught me to slow down. There's no rush. There's just now. A curb can be a balance beam and a laundry basket can be a rocket ship. And, it really doesn't matter who wins, it just matters that you enjoy the game. I'm thankful for people full of passion and cheering and for kind strangers smiling and chatting on the metro.
Day 8: I'm thankful for date-night with my awesome husband and I'm thankful that Hartly loves his babysitters. I'm thankful for healers (people whose jobs are to take care of others that are injured, in one way or another). I'm thankful that I don't just love my parents but I really like them... a lot. I'm thankful for friends who check in on me, just because ♥ I'm also very thankful that my siblings all live so close by!
Day 9: I'm thankful that a day of cleaning can be fun when there is a chatty and happy 2 year old by my side. I'm thankful for my house and my view of our lake, which always puts a smile on my face and clears my head (something about water). I'm thankful for big brothers that love fierce and supportive family. And, today, I'm especially thankful for a living room full of children dancing on the couch and shaking their little bums to some good music well past their bedtimes. Nothing better than dancing AND children!!
Day 10: I'm thankful that I'm in a position to be able to live my dream job - being able to play and teach and learn from Hartly all day, everyday. I just really, really enjoying every minute of it. I learn so much about myself and I laugh and explode with love numerous times a day. For me, there is nothing better!
Day 11: I'm thankful for my health. I have my own health issues I'm battling, but overall, I have more good days than bad. The bad days serve to remind me even more to appreciate the good days. I'm grateful that my husband and son are so healthy. I'm grateful for all the things we can do. I'm thankful for animals, children, music and dance - all things that make this world better. I also love shooting stars and rainbows. It makes my heart happy when strangers are extra nice or when random babies make eye contact with me and smile. I love that my son likes to choose his own clothes - today he rocked a red plaid "manly" shirt with his pink polka dotted Bowtie, jeans and his green sneakers and my Dalai Lama necklace :)
Day 12: I'm thankful for colors that make everything bright and beautiful and for a mother who always wears colors that exude joy. I'm thankful for paintings and photography that remind me of certain incredible moments captured and frozen in time. I'm thankful for heartache, letting me feel alive and allowing me to appreciate what I have. I'm thankful for instant gratification and for things worked hard and long for. I'm thankful for husbands that build forts out of boxes and children that jump into their parents arms, completely trusting, with no hesitation. Unconditional love is the best!
Day 13: I'm thankful I'm in my 30s, I like getting older. Not everyone gets a chance too. I'm thankful my husband loves me regardless what I look like. I'm thankful my son doesn't judge me by my appearance. I'm thankful for Facebook bc it allows me to see photos of people I care about whether we met for a few days in PR last year or I've known them since 3rd grade. I'm thankful I love to read and that I have access to so much at my fingertips. I'm thankful my son loves to cuddle with me and that if he's hurt, me singing Jingle Bells quietly in his ear makes him feel better.
Day 14: I'm thankful for my childhood. I'm thankful I grew up dancing, laughing, always loved, without a day of fear. I'm thankful I was surrounded by amazing siblings, loving parents, a great education and good friends. I'm thankful for shooting stars and I'm thankful for The Beatles and Nat King Cole.
Day 15: I'm thankful that, even though I've been doing this for two weeks, there are still some people who are reading my gratitude status updates. They aren't flashy but they are heartfelt and sincere. I'm overwhelmed with all of the things in my life that I have but it's the people and nature that I find gratitude in over and over again. I am also thankful that I believe that in everything there is a lesson to be learned and that we may not have chose in what happens in life but we always have a choice in how we react and in what we take away from every situation.
Day 16: I'm thankful that while I had planned on getting a bunch of things crossed off my to-do list this afternoon, instead I played Legos with Hartly for 2 1/2 hours straight (with him talking, dancing and singing for me and Willoughby, our piglet statue, throughout). I'm thankful that I heard versions of: Here we go round the Mulberry bush, Hey Jude, the ants go marching, castle on a cloud, pop goes the weasel and Jingle Bells ALL in one song. I'm thankful Frank made kale ice cream and waffles for us for dinner. I'm thankful that when Hart and Frank are playing I never know if I will hear Spanish, French or Chinese! I'm thankful I love to paint, even though I'm not very good. I say sing, dance and create, regardless if anyone sees the beauty in it. The process itself is the beauty. Everybody should dance everyday! I'm thankful for kindred souls, and people who make me laugh. Today was a beautiful day!
Day 17: I'm thankful for my Papa. I'm thankful that no matter what I've ever felt about myself, my dad has never faltered in his belief of my abilities, talents and capabilities. Im thankful for my mother and her listening ear and her huge heart. I'm thankful that even as a grown up, my parents still are available for love, advice and guidance. I'm thankful that while we disagree or view the world differently in a lot of areas, my parents have always been respectful of my opinion and trusted my judgement. I'm thankful that they adore my son and he is completely smitten with them. I'm thankful that I know there is nothing I could ever do or say that would lessen their love for me. It's completely, and beautifully unconditional. I'm thankful for friends, art, and red wine. I'm thankful that I believe in magic and faeries and in the unknown.
Day 18: I'm thankful for friends. I'm thankful for friends that I have had since I was just a few years old. I'm thankful for friends I've only recently met. There are all sorts of friends. There are friends that are there for company and for laughter. There are friends who I call or text when the best things and the worst things happen to me. They are people I look forward to seeing and whom are in my life for a reason. Lessons to be learned. Memories, laughter and joy to be had. I'm thankful for friends that I am no longer friends with because I learned a lot from them too and I have fond memories of when we were there for each other. I'm thankful for people who are my kindred souls and think and view the world as I do. But I have just as many precious people in my life who are very different from me that I love and need just the same. I'm thankful for boy bands. I'm thankful for faux-hawks and for pretty tattoos and unique names and for new words. I love words. I'm thankful for poetry and for hammocks and for Papi's singing lullaby's to their son.
Day 19: I'm thankful for sorrow and sadness and disappointment. It's in the cracks that light shines through. I'm thankful I feel deeply and that I'm sensitive and passionate. These moments of imperfection remind me of what is important and it's when there is stillness and space to learn. I have gratitude for lessons that loss and sorrow have taught me. I appreciate and value people. I'm thankful for Frank always being able to make me laugh. I'm thankful I know nothing could ever change my relationship with my sister. I'm thankful for animals. They are so much wiser than us. I'm thankful for SoDelicious Vegan ice cream.
Day 20: I'm thankful I was a teacher. Nothing better than being surrounded by children all day to remind you of what's important. I'm thankful that I learned not just about how I wanted to be as a parent but also things I knew I didn't want to do as a parent. I'm thankful that many of my past students still occasionally email me. I'm thankful for Holiday cards - something special still about getting cards in the mail. I'm thankful Hartly loves to sit and chat with me. Our conversations are sacred. I'm thankful for ladybugs and for rainbows.
Day 21: I'm thankful for beautiful souls that lessons keep giving long after they have passed on. I'm thankful for The Buddha and for Ghandi. Im thankful for Mother Teresa and I'm thankful for Martin Luther King Jr and for Jesus and for St. Nicholas. I'm thankful that I believe in my heart that most people are truly trying their best and that our true nature is that of love. I believe that all too often fear interferes but that what all of us crave and really all we want is to love and be loved. I'm thankful for meditation and for sangha and for constant reminders that bring me time and again out of the "story" and back to the truth. I'm thankful that the older I get, the more I love. And I do believe, no matter what, everything will be alright in the end. If its not alright, it's not the end. I believe that. I do. Sometimes I forget that for a spell but I always remember again.
Day 22: I'm thankful for the following - Hartly's Gratitude at 2 1/2 yrs old (over a few days and many conversations, this is what he came up with):I'm thankful for the leaves and my rocketship underwear. I'm thankful for my baby brother. I'm thankful for cars and for my prayer wheel. I'm thankful for my fireplace and for Willoughby. I'm thankful for Lexi and her home. I'm thankful for Jinky and Ba-Pa and their home. Im thankful for David and swimming class. I'm thankful for singing songs now. I'm thankful for marching. I'm thankful for tumbling class. I'm thankful for trains. I love you Mama AND Papi!! I'm happy for Jinky and Ba-Pa. My cousins with aunt abby - Maddie and Jordan. I love all my cousins... I love Linda from the rocketship. I'm thankful for fire. I'm thankful for trick or treating. I'm thankful for ladies. I'm thankful for rocketships. I'm thankful for Miss Anna. I'm thankful for Chinese classes and for Spanish and French classes and for Arabic. I'm thankful for animals. I'm thankful for these (holding up magna tiles). I'm thankful for my home. I'm thankful for trees.
Day 23: I'm thankful for reminders, all the time reminders everywhere, " The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it. The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings." (Sir James M. Barrie)... And an all time favorite, "Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9% of what you do is for yourself... And there isn't one." (Wu Wei Wu)... I'm thankful for believing and growing and seeing over and through and for contemplating everything and listening to my gut and heart. I'm glad I believe in what often can't be seen, but has to be felt. I'm thankful for new socks, fun sneakers, my little man, Legos and for Frank's childhood friends.
Day 24: I'm thankful that I am still friends with so many people I knew as a child. Some I see just once a year, others much more frequently. Some I'm very close to and others are more of acquaintances... But I truly love seeing all of them. I love that we knew each other at our worst and at our best. I love that we are all changed and grown for the better but still hold onto our youthful core. I'm thankful when people tell me, out of the blue, how sweet Hartly is. At the end of the day I'm not worried or concerned with his intellect but with his soul. I'm thankful that Frank, Hart and I spent 40 minutes snuggling and chatting in bed this morning. I'm thankful I'm constantly surrounded and enveloped in pure love. I'm thankful for dinners out with good friends and people who ask questions because they want to know your answer. Love.
Day 25: I'm thankful I've been fortunate to travel so much. I feel blessed to have been to so many places near and far for many different reasons. I get to visit friends, I get to travel and explore the world and I get to have lots of holidays. I love seeing other cultures and people and places! I'm thankful my husband and son love to travel as well. I'm thankful Hart and I are going to visit a dear friend in Boston in a few days and I'm thankful we just bought our tickets to Puerto Rico!! I'm also thankful for Train Night!!
Day 26: I'm thankful for my little bubble - my home. I'm thankful that I feel safe and cozy and happy here. I'm surrounded by photos of those I love and paintings and sculptures by generations from long ago all the way up to my 2 1/2 year olds artwork. I love that everything in my home is here for a reason and makes me smile and feel joy. I'm grateful I can afford nice things and I'm thankful that Hartly is getting a treehouse fort bed in 2 days where I know hours of imaginary play will occur. I'm thankful for my meditation area that is covered and surrounded in love and memories and reminders. I'm thankful for rocking chairs and for made up choo choo train songs by Hart. I'm thankful for my Mother's Day Buddha statue and always, always I'm thankful for my boys.
Day 27: I'm thankful for my husband. I'm sure I've mentioned him throughout. He is all the mushy stuff you see in movies, except he's real life. He's not perfect, but he's perfect for me. I'm thankful that we push each other's buttons and challenge each others comfort zones. I'm thankful he doesn't let me get away with stuff. I'm thankful that 6 years later and I still could get lost in his soulful and beautiful brown eyes. I'm thankful we found each other. I'm thankful that we love hanging out together... All the time! I'm thankful that our fights never last long and that even at my angriest, our love for each other is never called into question. I'm thankful for our endless laughter. There is so much joy. I'm thankful for him being such an amazing caretaker and provider. I'm grateful and humbled that such a brilliant and creative man believes that I am smart and he looks to me for advice and to brainstorm. I'm forever grateful at how he and Hartly play together and what an amazing father he is. He's my very best friend and he is my forever.
Day 28: I'm thankful for every wish that didn't come true and for every life experience I've ever had. I'm thankful for my past leading me to my present. I'm thankful for finding lessons in life. I'm grateful that I truly believe that we create our realities - not meaning if we are sick or poor or have been hurt that it's our fault but, rather, it is our outlook on life that becomes the focus. I believe people are meant to be good. I believe music and art and books and make-believe are as important as clean air and water. I'm thankful there is still so much more for me to experience and learn. I'm grateful I learn new things, again, through the eyes of my 2 year old. I'm thankful that I allow him lots of freedom to be a kid. I'm thankful I believe and trust in him. I'm grateful that tonight we giggled for 10 min straight over a funny noise he made with his mouth repeatedly.
Day 29: I'm beyond thankful for Hartly Jose. He is my bliss, my joy, my elation, my glee, my twinkle and he makes every moment overflow with delight. I'm thankful that Hartly wakes up every morning happy and almost always 1st thing asks, "will you play with me Mama?" (As if there is anything else in this world I'd rather do). I'm thankful that he talks to everyone and he asks questions and listens to the answers. He is curious and he loves to talk (and gets extra minutes out of me every night with, "Mama, can we chat a little more before you go?"). I'm thankful that when he hears a baby crying, he asks me if he can go over and try and help make them happy. I'm thankful he loves other languages and is respectful and interested in every culture. I'm thankful he makes up his own songs and that, as of recently, he likes to make up funny and silly voices when he talks to me. I'm thankful that he loves steam roller and rough housing and squeals in delight at tickles. I'm thankful he trusts me completely. Im thankful Hartly and Frank have so much fun together and that they adore each other. I'm thankful he has never experienced a harsh touch or tone from any one before. I'm thankful beyond thankfulness that our souls have been brought together in this life. He truly is the love of my life.
Day 30: I'm thankful for a month full of reflection and gratitude. I have so much more than I lack. I'm grateful for naming my gratitude. I'm grateful for recording my gratitude. I'm thankful that I feel as though I could do this every night for many more months and still not run out of things to say. Love is what matters most. It's really the only thing that matters. And I'm overflowing with love, so my gratitude is bottomless.
EXTRA: (what I thought about every time I sat down to write for Face Book but could not share with the world yet). I'm overflowing with love and thankfulness for my son, that is shared with another mother, whom is growing him in her body right now. I'm sad for him and for her that it does not work out in this life for them to physically be together after his birth, however, I am happy that they are both in my life. I am grateful that she chose me and my family with her most precious gift - she is placing her child in our care. I already love him more than he will ever know. I'm thankful Hartly and Frank already love him too. I look forward to many years of joy, laughter, love, and tears too. Every memory and every moment I will cherish with him.
PS Tayo Paco LLosa Born January 4th, 2013: