The best mornings start with gratitude

The best mornings start with gratitude
A perfect morning

Some mornings, I wake up to chaos, to disaster, heartbreak and stress. Some mornings, the kids are fighting before I even get out of bed. Some mornings, my panic attack starts before my feet even touch the floor and I have to weigh the consequences of taking an in-case-of-emergency pill that early in the morning (no driving, sleepiness, dizziness) with not taking it (jitters, shaky hands, difficulty concentrating, inability to take a deep breath). But not this morning.

This morning was the BEST morning ever!

I slept until 11:00! No one woke me with problems to solve, a two-page shopping list of items for a last-minute school project. Nope, no one even woke me to make them breakfast.

While snuggling in a pile of blankets with my Rosie, I received a good news text message from a dear friend and noticed I was tagged in a Facebook post from another. I clicked on it and was greeted by a picture my friend and fellow blogger, Mistress Julie Chi, posted. Memories of fun, silly times flooded my brain and I laughed. I actually laughed in bed.

Another Facebook comment triggered reflection and filled my heart with gratitude. Not the basic gratitude like I am thankful for the sunshine today, but the kind of gratitude one can only appreciate after facing true pain, heartache and despair and finally emerging on the other side. The kind of gratitude wherein colors are brighter, food tastes better and you are thankful, so thankful that a day you never thought would ever happen actually did. Yeah, I felt that gratitude this morning. Incredible!

I went downstairs and my 13 year old man/child looked up from his laptop, looked at me and said, “Good morning, Mama.” Amazing!

I caught my 10 year old son watching The Winnie the Pooh Movie (oh, my happy mother’s heart!) and he was as embarrassed about being caught watching it as if I had caught him watching porn. He turned it off as soon as I entered the room. “Hi, Mama.” He sheepishly greeted me. It didn’t take me long to convince him to turn it back on the TV.

As I was sitting down to watch, the doorbell rang. My man/child answered the door (shocking!) and it was another friend with cash for me at the door! (Who doesn’t love cash in the morning!?)

I made a cup of coffee, my favorite Keurig flavor Golden French Toast! (Hooray!) I returned to the couch to watch Winnie the Pooh with my boy, who scooted closer to me and offered part of his blanket to me.

While we were talking about Pooh’s honey problem, my man/child appeared. His ridiculously too deep for his too thin frame voice interrupted our conversation and he filled the room. Before I knew what was happening, he folded his long, lanky body of sharp, pointy angles next to mine on the couch. “Mama, did you know that each of the characters have a mental illness?” I acted like I had never heard this before and asked him to explain it.

So with Winnie the Pooh sticky sweetness playing in the background, my 2 boys pseudo psycho-analyzed my beloved childhood characters.

Now, I still sit on my couch with my two boys, sipping a second cup of hot coffee and eating a bowl of cereal my teen brought me. My heart is full. My life is good. I am blessed. Life doesn’t get any better than this moment, than moments like these.

Wishing everyone a lifetime of sweet moments like this one and gratitude. Real gratitude is something you feel deep in your bones because you realize that even in intense pain and darkness, you are still blessed to be in the game. Whether you lean on supportive loved ones and borrow their strength or you dig deep inside of you and discover what you need to continue, you can find the reasons to fight, to continue. So, you do.

I’m no expert. Hell, I’m hardly a good example either. But I’ve been there. During the worst times, I focused my gratitude on the basics: food, shelter, warm clothing, the friendly smile of a stranger. I found the strength to continue. It was worth it to see the other side, for mornings like this. Had it not been for the struggles and for the moments of intense pain, sorrow and misery, mornings like this would not be as sweet, as joyful, as blessed!

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Tags: Gratitude, hope, Parenting

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