I am so grateful for such a myriad of things this year, this day.
I am incredibly, tremendously grateful that after several months of near-constant health crises, we are all just fine. My dad got so, so lucky, to have this exact kind of tumor. There were some months there when I thought my father might well die, and I do not know of words that express my gratitude that he will not be dying anytime soon.
On that note, I remain grateful for my family, for my sisters who are also my very best friends in the world, for my parents and their constant support and pride.
I am so happy and thankful to have a great extended family, and in particular some wonderful cousins who are always a delight.
This time last year I did not know my friend Laura, and I am thankful for new friends.
I am grateful to attend UDC, where the student body is (mostly) kind and caring, where the professors are (sometimes) really quite good, where despite my whining I actually feel comfortable.
I am incredibly thankful for my church community. For all the people who enveloped me in hugs and good wishes upon learning about my dad. For all the people who make me feel valued every Sunday morning. For my co teachers, David and Mark for OWL and Stacey and Amanda for 9th grade, who help me every week to do what I love. For the kids I teach, who are so brilliant, so kind and thoughtful and compassionate. For the tenets of my religion, which guide me every day.
And I am grateful for my neighborhood community, for the many people who stopped me on the way to the park or the market to ask how we were all doing.
I am so, so thankful to have the presence of many small children in my life. Well! Some are not so small anymore! I feel constantly blessed when they are around, peppering me with questions, wrapping their arms around my shoulders, jumping on my back, arguing with me, challenging me, forcing me to be my very best self in order to help develop theirs. I love the kids I care for, and I am thankful as well for their parents, wonderful people every one.
I’m grateful for all the small comforts of my life. And the big ones. My car, my computer, my iPod, my camera…and I am grateful for the books I get to read, without which I would not feel so fully human.
Being in adult gymnastics has changed me in only twelve weeks, has reminded me of what my body is capable of, and for that I am grateful.
I am thankful to be in analysis, and thankful for my analyst.
I am in grateful awe of the beauty that surrounds me when I bother to look for it, the leaf in the road, the branch in the creek, the clouds that the kids and I like to make shapes from. For the places that remain wild. For the ocean, which soothes and comforts me. For the wind and the sky and the stars and the trees, wise and tall.
I am thankful, of course, for my dog, who is lying curled up next to me right now and whom I love more than I would have ever thought it possible to love someone not human.
I am grateful for the things that come easily to me—for my ability to write, the easy, gentle way I am with children, the joy I find in a good book. I am grateful for the things that are harder, too. Most of the time.
I am thankful that I live in a time and place when, most of the time, I feel just fine being who I am, where I feel as if my gender and sexual orientation and weight and general quirks are not obstacles but basic facets of my personality, things not to be overcome but to be savored.
I am grateful to be here, now.