A Child’s Lessons About Gratitude

While we try to teach our  children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.

~Angela Schwindt~

As a mom, I never stop marveling at the lessons my child teaches me about life. These lessons come in many forms—in candid words spoken, in moments of spontaneity and curiosity, in an imagination that knows no bounds, and in a willingness to love and forgive and to not harbor bitterness.

Yes, I’ve learned plenty of invaluable lessons these last six plus years as a mom. And the lessons keep coming.

At the halfway mark of my family’s month-long quest of giving thanks, I’m taking a few moments to step back and reflect on the lessons about gratitude my son has passed onto me.

When my son gave thanks for “getting to play with Ethan” (his best friend) after school one day, he taught me what it means to truly be grateful for the daily moments we spend with our loved ones.

When my son gave thanks for “getting to do Grandparents Day” at school, I recognized how important it is to honor and show gratitude for grandparents and the elderly in our families and communities.

When my son gave thanks for “food to eat,” I was reminded of how this basic necessity can so easily be taken for granted, especially when you don’t know what it’s like to go a day without food.

When my son gave thanks for “Bogie (our family dog) and Lucy (one of his grandma’s dogs),” I considered how our fury friends can bring smiles and laughter into our homes and how they teach us about companionship and loyalty.

When my son gave thanks for “Christopher Columbus,” I chuckled at first at his words of thanks but then appreciated how a child could teach me to be thankful for those of generations past that paved the way for the country and life I now enjoy.

And when my son gave thanks yesterday for “God and for Jesus dying on the cross for our sins,”  I captured a glimpse of what it means to have childlike faith and to express true gratitude for God’s demonstration of His love for each of us that  “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

This morning, I read the many words of thanks pasted on my family’s thanksgiving tree. Oh, how blessed we are! I reached for a blank leaf and jotted down my words of gratitude for today:

“I am thankful for my son’s love for God and for his growing faith.”

And if I had more room on the leaf, I would have added:

“and for the lessons about gratitude he teaches me.”

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