In a couple of days, all of the social media will be abuzz with recipes, food pictures, and gratitude lists. In what has become an annual tradition of sorts, despite the murky origins of this holiday, this week will kick-start our holiday season. I look back on the year that has gone by and linger on the highs, the memorable parts and the things I am grateful for. I also countdown toward the end of the year. We usually haul our fake tree from the basement, set it up, hang up ornaments and in almost a tradition sit around the lit tree for an hour just soaking up the glow and the magic that the winking lights bring. For the past couple of years, I have taken to hanging a wreath at the door. The list of people I need to get gifts for increases with each year. I have an eye out for sales. I scour each store I enter for the unusual, the whimsical and the one thing that will make my children happy.
So, here goes.
- I am grateful for my children’s school teachers. Ms. T specifically for looking after my children as her own. For her warm hugs, for the mid-afternoon phone calls and most of all, the maternal warmth she lends to her small group of children.
- I am grateful for the nap I take each afternoon. Even if just an hour, it permits me to sink into oblivion, to rise rejuvenated, to feel energetic when my children are back home.
- I am grateful for the reading I get to each night after the kids are in bed and silence reigns at home. The books have been eclectic. The joy of escaping into a world so alien from the one I inhabit is priceless.
- I am grateful for this summer, for the time my mother spent with me. For the nightly walk around the development. For the puris, for the polis, for the love that went into each meal.
- I am grateful to Saathi, for loving what he does at work, for supporting me as I make decisions and walk away from them, for uncomplainingly supporting all of us monetarily.
- I am grateful to Laddu, for her exuberance, for the morning drive to her school filled with wonder. It opens my eye to the very world I have been living in and shows me how much beauty has been in plain sight.
- I am grateful to Ammu for being my cheerleader, for being lavish with her praise, for being generous with physical affection, for the unexpected hugs and kisses.
- I am grateful to Pattu for her company each morning as we share our coffee in silence, for enthusiastically helping me with the dishes, for showing me a glimpse of what it will be like when my children are grown and mature.
- I am grateful to my small adoption community for the support I gain from them, for the solidarity when I battle things small and big, for being the place that is my comfort zone.
- I am grateful to my women friends, the ones who call me every week, for the friendship that drives away the blues, for the laughs that leave me smiling long past the phone is disconnected, for the knowledge that I am not alone, for the intellectual high I miss elsewhere.
Most of all, this year, I am grateful for being in a space mentally and physically that I am happy in.