It’s November and social media is abuzz with daily thankful posts to commemorate the Thanksgiving season. Many people find these posts annoying, as we should be thankful year round, but I happen to love the posts. I love the positivity and insight on my friend’s lives and it’s a nice break from political memes and Huffington Post articles. While, it’s true, often times these posts are predictable and trite (Day 1: I’m thankful for my mom and dad because … Day 2: I’m thankful for my husband because… Day 3: I’m thankful for my job, house, Diet Coke, friends, whatever else) it’s nice to reflect on the gifts and blessings you have. Now that I’m 29 and far from my college days, my feed is filled more with weddings and babies than parties and apartment lounging — ahhh I miss those days!
With that goes this one thankful post I probably see the most:
Day XX: I’m thankful for my healthy children.
Before last year I would have never thought twice about this one. I probably would have posted, if I did the 30 Days of Thanks, something very similar myself. However, this year it stings. When I see it I literally wince (and yes, I’m using the word ‘literally’ correctly. I can upload a video if you need proof) and I get a little sad. The word ‘healthy’ just rings in my ear and it’s hard to shake. Until today.
Today, I came across one of these posts while I was eating lunch with my kids at the table. Before I got to feel my heart sink, Paige kicked her feeding chair and gave me THE. BIGGEST. GRIN. In that moment, I realized that I’m thankful for my unhealthy child. I am thankful that she’s HERE.
My child that has a brain malformation that she did not ask for. My child that will struggle for every “inchstone” she reaches. Our family will have to carry her and tend to her needs the rest of her life. Statistically, my child isn’t supposed to survive childhood. While she’s not currently “sick” she is considered “terminal” and that’s a lot of weight on the heart already. My child might not be considered “healthy” but she’s here.
If I were to write a thankful post for my children it would be this:
Day Every: I am thankful I get to hold you both physically and in my heart. I am thankful that I get to be your mother and carry you in any way you need me. I’m thankful that you are with me and are exactly the person you are. I am thankful for the things you can do and also the things you can not do. I am thankful that you are here.
From here on out there will be no more literal wincing or sunken hearts. I am thankful for both of my children, healthy or unhealthy. And given the chance, I’d do it over again and again and again and I’ll always be thankful that they’re in my world.