November is a month to reflect on what we are thankful for. Of course, we should do that every day, and I’m sure we all do to some degree. But Thanksgiving is a day set aside to focus on our blessings.
It’s my favorite holiday. Always has been. There’s no pressure. No presents to fuss over, no baskets to make or eggs to hide. No last minute runs to buy fireworks (although the 4th of July is my second favorite holiday). No, Thanksgiving is just a day to spend time with my family. That’s it.
We eat, play games, eat, play cards, eat, take a nap, eat, play more games, and finally roll
ourselves home. It’s a great day.
And I’m Thankful that when I look around the table I see little (okay, they aren’t so little anymore, but they’re always our babies, right?) faces looking back at me.
I’m thankful that I haven’t been able to take a nap in the last twelve years. Or that I can’t seem to go to the bathroom without someone walking in on me (thank goodness for locks). I haven’t had a shower that lasts over five minutes. I haven’t had a shower that’s actually had warm water. There’s always someone fighting in my house. There’s a crisis a day—at least. I’m a nurse, taxi driver, cook, seamstress, teacher, judge—jury and executioner (okay, that last one? No.).
I’m thankful for all those things because I’m a mom.
I’m thankful for the nine surgeries, the hundreds of shots and the ungodly number of blood draws I had. For the tens of thousands of dollars (kiss our 401k goodbye) we spent. For a man named Mostafa Abuzeid. For the pain, embarrassment, and a husband who was there and knew just what to say when I felt like giving up. I’m thankful for these things because I’m a mom. And without them, I wouldn’t be.
So when I’m taking my five minute cold shower and my twins burst into the bathroom (and I cuss under my breath for not locking the door) and start arguing because one has the other’s toy, shirt, shoes, barrette, whatever…I think to myself…
I can’t believe I actually paid to have these kids.
No, really, I can’t believe how totally blessed I am that medical science and my wonderful doctors, who became like family over the ten long years it took for me to have our son Evan and our twins, Aleigha and Alana, were able to take someone who felt broken and useless and show her that sometimes we all need a little help. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
So I’m thankful for my family, definitely. But I’m thankful for a lesson I learned a little over twelve years ago when I held my son for the first time and my infertility doctor looked down at us with tears in his eyes and said, “You did it!” He taught me it’s okay to ask for help. Yeah, I know it’s a weird story, but until then I’d been one of those people who didn’t ask for help from anyone—it showed weakness. And I had a childhood that required me to be strong. I had to do things myself. I couldn’t be weak. But he taught me it’s not weakness to ask for help, it’s the strong that can admit they need help and ask for it.
So I’m thankful for a man named Mostafa Abuzeid. Although, I wish he’d come babysit so I could take a nap.