A couple of years ago, when my granddaughter was 3 years old, she sort of knocked me off kilter by what she said. It was a Friday afternoon. Not just any Friday, but Nattie Friday--that magical day that arrives every other week, and we get to spend it with her. We were on our way home from a playground. This was after our typical round of coloring, eating "forbidden" chocolate, baking cupcakes, and whatever else we could do that was fun. That was an important rule. It had to be fun. With little hands gripping her lovey, she stopped sucking her thumb and her tiny voice came from the backseat, "Grammie, I had fun today." I smiled so hard my eyes squinted nearly shut. I could barely see to drive.
She had not even uttered the word, "thanks". Nope. Nothing even close to it, but her gratitude came through loud and clear. She had spoken straight from her heart.
There were a couple of lessons in that.
I didn't take her to the park and do all those other things--just to hear a thank you. But I did do them for all the right reasons.
Do for the good in the doing--not for the reward.
And, learn to hear gratitude, rather than listening for "thanks".
Nearly two decades before that, my brother was visiting from California along with his wife and three young sons.
We all squeezed around the dinner table one evening, (11 of us) and my husband called out their middle child to say grace. I think he was probably all of 4 years old at the time, and I suspect he might never have done this before. No pressure. :-)
He started out by thanking God for the food. This went on for a bit, as he mentioned each food served. And then he thanked God for the table. And then he was thankful for his plate, and then the fork, and the knife, and the spoon. His voice got a little sing-songy as he lifted his eyes searching for inspiration. I think he even thanked God for my mom's little dog.
His parents then removed him from further grace detail.
The lesson I learned from that? So obvious. Be grateful for the little things...they can make all the difference. Imagine dinner with no fork, no plate, no spoon, no table... no food...
Sometimes kids have it all figured out. :-)
Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it! <3