There are times when I think that if the phrase “attitude of gratitude” was a person, I would be tempted to punch it square in the nose of its smug, righteous little face. It just sounds… smarmy. Holier-than-thou-ungrateful-and-possibly-unwashed-self. Fake and pious. That aspect of it I can do without.
On the other hand, there’s something about that phrase that I love. It’s short and simple and to the point. It’s a great reminder to myself even as I’m grappling with raising complicated no-longer-so-small people who can sometimes bear a striking resemblance to Veruca Salt. So, yes, it can sound a little trite, but the idea behind it rings true to me.
It’s about acknowledging the good and being appreciative as a default position. I can’t find anything wrong with that, rhyming words aside. I liked doing a quick inventory so much, the last time I did it, I’m going to do it again today.
1) I found myself aggravated about something, earlier, and the dog came out from under the futon and—after a giant stretch—came and flopped down on my feet. I was calmer almost instantly. (Know those annoying “Head On, apply directly to the forehead!” commercials? I’m totally investing in “Dog On, apply directly to the feet!” instead.)
2) Monkey’s new teacher gave him a special notebook to keep his Computomon (think Bakugan/Pokemon hybrid of his own creation) stuff organized, and his parapro made him an “angry notebook” to use when he’s feeling frustrated. These women are learning Monkey’s language more quickly than I’d dared to hope, and I see many homemade cookies in their future.
3) I owed my father some money, and he told me not to worry about it, just consider us even for my birthday. I refused and sent him a check for the amount I owed him. He sent me a check for an identical amount for my birthday. Now we are in a standoff until he cashes his. Heh.
4) Chickadee asked me if she could list Otto’s experience with something as part of her “qualifications” on a club application. I said she could not, but she could ask Otto to teach her. Their ensuing exchange was very sweet, and a nice respite from the “don’t talk to your mother that way”/”I wasn’t!” two-step they’ve been doing lately.
5) The other night Otto and I sat on the porch while I was in A Mood and I found that a brief trip around the pool to rescue wayward frogs helped considerably.
6) Generally the state of my children’s beds after they’ve “made” them makes me want to film an instructional video called How To Actually Make Your Bed If You Are Neither Drunk Nor Blind. But for some reason this morning I found the lopsided blankets and akimbo pillows somewhat endearing, and reminded myself that at least they did it. Sort of.
7) “Did you get any cool books in the mail today?” is one of my favorite after-school greetings. Both because I love my job and because I love my nerdlings.
8) Currently my bulletin board sports (among other things) a note painstakingly penned to me from the 12-year-old son of one of my dearest friends. It makes me smile.
9) The kids gave Licorice a stuffed chipmunk for her birthday. By the time they got up this morning, said chipmunk was a shell of its former self—literally. The squeaker and all the stuffing were removed, and the tail and one leg ripped off. Whenever we get to witness this sort of Toy Carnage, Otto and I nudge each other knowingly and intone, “This dog may never play with toys, you know.” (I’m glad we took her even though we were told that. And I’m glad it turned out to be wrong.)
10) An hour ago the sky clouded over and it rained really hard for about two minutes. I realized I’d sent the kids to school without rain jackets and hoped it would clear up before the end of the day. Now it’s completely sunny with no evidence that there was a storm. Something about the fickleness of the weather is deeply reassuring to me.
Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Whatever you prefer to call it, this attitude of gratitude thing is pretty neat.