This Thanksgiving rather than write the traditional parenting column on how to teach thankfulness to children, I decided instead to share why I’m thankful for children. Of course I am most thankful for my own three children– all are kind, bright, funny, and engaging teenagers. They can also be demanding, messy, and argumentative, but I am so proud of them and what they are becoming.
I am also thankful for other people’s children. Being around young children constantly reminds me of the beauty and wonder in the world (so I can see the rainbow on the pavement rather than just a messy oil drip!) There are so many amazing things in the world that adult eyes just stop seeing. I am also grateful for the way children think and put ideas together. Recently I have learned from three and four year olds that astronauts can wear high heels with their spacesuits, baby Jesus grows up to be Santa Claus, if you drink too much wine you have to sleep on the coach, that the leaves turn red without “nobody painting them”, and that girls have Volvos not penises.
Most of all I am thankful for the smiles, hugs, curiosity, affection, honesty, and exuberance children bring to every moment. If only adults could learn from children and recapture a bit of their “joie de vivre” ( delight in being alive)– we could all be a little more grateful.