Victoria Advocate, A Different Perspective
With Thanksgiving just barely in the rearview mirror, it’s a good time to reflect and to continue cultivating thankfulness.
A couple of weeks ago, our grandsons had a sleepover at Mamaw’s. We had to visit the “tamale lady” to get on her holiday schedule. Eleven-year-old David enjoyed the opportunity to pay for a sample batch with lots of one-dollar bills to count. Eight-year-old Emmitt demanded a pair of sunglasses, because the eye doctor had dilated his eyes. When I pointed out how large and dark his pupils were, he was in awe. Even the next day, he asked for sunglasses, though his eyes were back to normal. Fortunately, wearing glasses is something he’s jazzed about. Not only will he see much better, he’ll be like his big brother, too. He described the frames to me—“Mamaw, they’re blue and black and orange”—which sounded like the perfect match. All over the place and a bit on the quirky side.
I made sure they had enough tablet time to keep the peace. It also gives Mamaw and Papa a break, then we watched a movie with popcorn and Cheetos. Nanny McPhee is one of those classics with a lot of layers. They liked the scenes where the children misbehaved, but they found Nanny McPhee’s appearance (warts, bulbous nose, and long tooth) gross. Her transformation at the movie’s end relieved them.
The one thing we didn’t factor in was the time change. I was up at 5:30 a.m. the next morning, unable to sleep anymore, and the boys followed in quick order. David enjoyed making dog videos with Lacey and Ike. He was uncharacteristically affectionate, i.e., laying in my lap so I could watch the replays with him. He also sent them to me via a phone app. Funny how they’re so quick to learn things that took me a long time to master. However…Mamaw’s early mornings should come with a warning: LIKELY TO HAVE A SHORTER FUSE THAN USUAL. Emmitt found out the hard way that Mamaw doesn’t like disrespectful talk. He was a little testy too, but old enough to heed warnings.
After a serious discussion, we settled into several rounds of the game, Chameleon, and finished up with Crazy Eights before we left for church. It was a lovely break to sit in the sanctuary and listen to the sermon while the boys participated in kids’ church. Afterwards, when I asked them what they learned, Emmitt declared the lesson was on gratefulness. He wanted me to list ten things I was grateful for, so we turned it into a game. He understood that electricity and cars and houses—and pizza, of course, are things to be thankful for.
Once we delivered the boys safely home, I looked forward to the Cowboys-Eagles football game, but that was another tough loss for the Cowboys. I crashed mid-evening, because of my early rising. Then anxiety crept in because my mind kept tripping over an upcoming book deadline and everything else that needed to happen.
Thankfully, the Lord steadied me the next morning. The anxiety fled, and I tackled my projects with confidence. Turns out, the last scenes I needed to write weren’t as difficult as I surmised, and there was plenty of time to get it done. The story isn’t there yet, I’m pleased with the progress.
Amid these busy times, I work at cultivating an attitude of gratitude. There’s always something to be thankful for, and I’ve found it’s better to focus on the positives than the negatives.
What are you thankful for during this holiday season?