Clouds, May 2010

Clouds, May 2010

Thursday, November 28, 2013

30 thank yous

I first learned about The 30 Days of Thanks challenge via social media, & according to a USA Today article (from about 4 years ago) that is basically how it began-- with a blogger & a couple of her friends, who recognized the importance of encouraging themselves & others... & what a difference it made to focus a few minutes a day for one month, on the people, things, & experiences for which they're grateful.

I'm about a week late joining the 2013 bandwagon, but in a few weeks I will share my 30 Thank Yous on Thanksgiving:

1. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is open my eyes. I am thankful that I have good sight.

2. When I was a toddler I had corrective surgery on one of my eyes & when H was a toddler, he had the same surgery on both. I am even more thankful that Hayden has good sight.

3. After I wake up the second thing I do is get up. Although I dislike my legs I am equally grateful for their strength. I am thankful they've carried me-- & often my son, too-- very well.

4. That being said, I am also thankful that Hayden's legs are more like his father's.

5. (Moving on...) I am thankful for the almost therapeutic, sense of calm that I feel when I am painting. It definitely clears my mind.

6. I am so grateful throughout our home we have loving memories of my Grandma Gert, among many exquisite pieces of her hand painted china. I love this piece & she used to say it reminded her of me.

7. One of my favorite memories from my Grandma Phyllis is a pillow she knitted for me, using one of my childhood drawings of a dog as the design. I am thankful for this, & that I can pass it on to my son.

8. I am thankful for the team of people at the Institute for Basic Research in NY, & even more thankful that we live within driving distance of a fragile x clinic... period. They were one of our first stops just a couple of months after we had H's diagnosis. During the following years they were instrumental in guiding us through an appropriate Education Plan for Hayden.

9. I am thankful for FRAXA, The Fragile X Research Foundation. Our very first experience at a fragile x community event was a FRAXA Gala (The X Ball). I would like to mention that through random luck, & one of my mom's former colleagues, The Clark family personally made it possible for me & my husband to attend.

10. I am thankful for the incredible National Fragile X Foundation (NFXF), including Advocacy Day, the International FX Conferences, the LINKS Network, & much, much more.

11. I am so grateful to be a LINKS Co-Leader for the Fragile X Association of New Jersey!

12. I am also thankful for H's 15 minutes of fame at last year's International FX Conference in Miami

13. I am very lucky to have all of the family support that I have. I often feel that we never would have made it this far without them.

In fact, I am quite sure of it.

14. I am thankful for our little fragile x world. Period. I am not thankful that Hayden was born with fragile x, but I am thankful-- beyond words-- for the indescribably amazing fragile x community.

15. And also to that point, my gratitude for most of the people who work with Hayden at school is beyond measure. There are four faculty members in particular who have set the bar so unbelievably high, that I am worried I will need to be medicated* when Hayden graduates to the upper elementary school in about 2 1/2 years, & is no longer in their care.
*I should probably start now.
You can check this link out to see just how young he was when he started working with most of them: (btw, his Aide made this video when he graduated from preschool... it is beyond evident how they adore him) Hayden's Preschool Video
I know it's 9 minutes, & it's not even your kid, but I promise it will melt your heart 

16. I am thankful I am a mom. And I am even more thankful that someone calls me Mommy. I know what a privilege it is & many women-- whether they can or can not conceive-- never know this privilege. I carried my own son full term & when he was born we met a very healthy (big) beautiful baby boy... ten fingers, ten toes, two good eyes, two good ears, & a cute little nose. He thrived well from Day One & 8 1/2 years later, that certainly hasn't changed.

17. I am so thankful I am an Aunt to 2 very smart & beautiful nieces, a very smart & handsome nephew, & future Aunt to another somebody on-the-way <3 I love watching them grow up & I love being Aunt Cara!

18. I am thankful that Hayden sleeps well at night. Sleeping can be a major challenge for kids with fx, so I know what a blessing this is. Sometimes it takes him a very long time to fall asleep, but once he does he will usually stay asleep for a good 10 hours. 

19. I am thankful for the color purple because it makes me happy & I think of my grandma every time I see it (especially lavender).

20. I am thankful that I have a good head of hair. Sure I complain during summer because it is so damn thick & it gets awfully hot under there... but I am simultaneously thankful that there is so much of it. I am also thankful it does not yet require being dyed! Some women can carry a head of grey hair extremely well. I can tell by my skin tone I would not be one of them.

21. I am thankful that I have a job & that Dan has one, too. Even though my job is not exactly a career to me, I remain very grateful for the flexibility. Without this I would never be able to accommodate Hayden's needs. We have a very carefully orchestrated schedule with very little wiggle room, but what we have works.

22. In this universe of email, texting, social media, & so forth... I am quite thankful for the friends in my life who I still have actual phone conversations with. Of course spending time together is preferred, but the reality is that spending time together is often not a reality. So hearing someone's voice is definitely the next best thing.

23. But when I do have a chance to actually make plans with friends, I cherish spending that time with them. (Even the part of getting there... because I enjoy being in the car by myself & listening to whatever music I want to, on whatever volume I want to, & having the car be as windy (or not) as I wish.)

I am thankful for all of the birthday wishes! I especially love the few "old fashioned" cards I still get in the mail every year. I am definitely a sucker for snail mail-- it has just become so rare that it almost feels like a present.
25. I may not have a garage, & yes I drive a truck that is more than 10 years old, but I am thankful for my remote engine starter! (Thank you Mom & Dad)

26. I am thankful that Jenna is my sister.

I am thankful that Dan has (just about) quit smoking... he has not actually lit up a regular ol' boxed cigarette in about two months, & even his use of the e-cigarette has dwindled down to hardly ever.

28. On a less important note, I am thankful that I can paint my own nails well & I do not have to get a manicure because I do not find them relaxing. Also I find it annoying to spend the money when they're just going to chip.

29. Although technology can sometimes really piss me off I am extremely, extremely grateful for cell phones... I just liked them much better before they were smart & you could actually touch the screen without it trying to do something. (Petition to bring buttons back, anyone?)

30. We waited more than five years to hear Hayden put just a couple of words together. Five years. Eventually his speech improved well enough that he could actually get full sentences out. Although life with him is not exactly an easy one, I am immeasurably thankful for his continued progress... & I am grateful to experience what it feels like to be proud of someone you love.


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