There was the Thanksgiving we spent at home. I don't remember who got the knife to cut the pecan pie but it wasn't the correct knife for pie cutting. The consequence was the knife being hurled by my brother's head and into the wall.
I am not sure why I thought of that today. I was trying to think of what to say I was thankful for and that memory popped up. Maybe it is because I can't quite put into words the gratitude I feel for my life.
I am thankful for something that I have always struggled to love about myself. Today I am thankful for that thing about me that may make it hard for you to like me. That may make you think that I am nuts.
I have been asked several times how I got to where I am. I guess if you only know me as my life is now then you probably don't think this glorious life is all that special. But if you knew me back when, then you know that I won the lottery.
I always give credit to all the people who lifted me up, credit to God, credit to church, credit to a good education. I almost never give the credit to the sassy, the spunk, the determination and the perfectionism. To that part of me that goes the extra five minutes on the treadmill or puts back the second chocolate chip cookie because I was always told I would be fat "one day" and I refuse to let them be right.
It is that part of me that in college worked to pay my way, found an internship, had to be president of the club, and find time to volunteer. It is the part of me that knew I had to have a resume to find a job so that I would never have to move back to my hometown. To the place that raised me but also damaged me.
It is the part of me that will argue with you if you say the sky is blue. You know how I always have to point out that it sometimes looks orange when the sun is setting or white on a cloudy day.
You see above all else, I think it is that part that has made this part possible. I think it is why I didn't get stuck. Why I am not celebrating Thanksgiving in a trailer park with a cruel husband and possibly an addiction to a substance that is ruining my children's lives.
That part of myself that I struggle to tame has been my saving grace.
My life is beautiful. I live with a man who I love fully. Who is kind and gentle. A man who I love even more now because he is an amazing dad. A man who loves me even when the sassy is in full force. A love that is so overwhelming that it can be terrifying. Especially to a girl who was always waiting for the other shoe to fall. To allow myself to be vulnerable to love. I am thankful for him and for his love. For the gift of learning that love is good and safe.
I have the sweetest children. They have taught me a love that I did not know I could feel. A love that runs through me. A love that is so full that it can feel suffocating because I take so seriously my responsibility to protect them. I am so deeply blessed by these little loves. They make me better and give me so much more than I could ever hope to give back to them.
I am thankful for every detail of my life. The crunched up goldfish crackers on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. The food, the shelter, the healthcare, the clothing, the towels and sheets and stuff that make our lives comfortable. I am thankful for it all.
But above all I am thankful for a peaceful home. A home full of love. A safe place to raise my family. And I am thankful for that fight inside of me. That thing that brought me to this place. This perfect little life that is so much more than I ever imagined possible.