Parenting Is An Exercise In Discovering Gratitude

Somewhere between wiping snotty noses and changing another overflowing diaper I look at my middle child, trying to squirm away from me, and tell him I’m doing this to help him. He isn’t really participating in the conversation.

He should be grateful. I think to myself that some day in the future he should thank me for all of these things I’m doing for him.

Then, the blunt hit of seeing the obvious, I remember that I was a child. That someone changed my overflowing diapers and dealt with my temper tantrums. Although I’ve thanked her and made cards for Mother’s Day, the gratitude somehow becomes more real after experiencing the other side.

Then the realization goes deeper. I see that in the same way I did not fully appreciate the things done for me then, there are certainly things I don’t yet appreciate that are done for me now.

I have experienced, through my children, a proxy for two years of the care it took to raise me. But there were 28 other years of different kinds of care. Some day I might grow to fully appreciate those as well.

Thank you Mom for thirty years. For the things I know about, the things I fully appreciate and the things I don’t yet.