It was Sunday night, the end of a weekend full of Christmas list-making, cupcake frosting, and Targeting. The light was off, and Tori was snuggling deep in her bed, fighting sleep as I rubbed her back. I could tell that something was on her mind, but stayed quiet. I knew if I waited long enough, she’d come out with it.
Finally, in between yawns, it did.
“Mommy, wouldn’t it be great if we could have everything?”
“Everything? What do you mean by that?”
“Everything. All the toys. All the stuff at Target. Everything we want.”
“That would be awful,” I said. “Then there would be nothing left to wish for.”
She was silent for a moment, and I could tell she was trying to process what I’d said.
“Why do we need to wish for things?” she finally asked, twining a strand of my hair between her fingers. I let her pull me forward, and when we were nose to nose, I struggled to find words she might understand.
“Because. When you really, really want something, bad enough to wish for it, then you do whatever you can to make your wishes come true. And that’s when you have the best adventures.”
“Like Dora does?”
“Yeah, kinda like that.”
She yawned again, her eyes drooping. “But mommy? I really want everything that’s on my Christmas list.”
“I know, honey. I know. Just remember to try to be thankful for what you do get. And don’t worry about what you don’t. That’s the trick to being happy in life.”
“I’m thankful for you, mommy. And daddy.”
“And we’re thankful for you,” I said, kissing her cheek.
And with that, she was out.
I laid back in the pillowed nest I keep next to her bed, letting my mind wander in the silent darkness.
I’ve made a lot of wishes lately. Had a lot of adventures. It’s turned out to be a pretty awesome year.
I have SO MUCH to be thankful for.
And my family is at the center of it all.
As we enter this Thanksgiving holiday, my head will be stuffed with dreams, bubbling over with “what ifs,” and “Oh, I wish(es).”
But my heart will be filled with gratitude. I may not be rich. I may not be famous. I may never be anything but a content specialist at Indiana University. But I have a husband I love, a daughter who lights up my life, and a home full of rainbow-colored rooms that protects me from the cold.
I’ve got friends who support me at every turn. A family who loves me even when I’m at my most unloveable. And furry creatures who always seem to know when I need a snuggle.
And then, of course, there’s all of you.
What else could a girl ask for?
I hope this Thanksgiving finds you happy with the life you have, and grateful for the people you have in it. But more than anything, I hope you never run out of dreams to dream, or wishes to wish.
Here’s to a holiday season full of adventures, big and small.