However, (and you knew there was a however, didn't you?), as I lay awake last night a baby kicking away in my belly thanks to that MochaJava frozen drink I requested from Borders (note to self: no more caffeine for the kid) I am especially mindful this year of all that I have to be thankful for and that makes this holiday especially poignant.
And so in the spirit of the season, here is a mere sampling of the Contemplative Chaplain's Gratitude List (in absolutely no particular order):
- For advanced fertility treatments and the kind staff who administer them who give hope to those who may not be able to have biological children on their own "naturally."
- For health insurance that covers a $40 anti-nausea pill for morning sickness.
- For maternity clothes which neither cling too tightly, nor billow in the breeze.
- For kind neighbors who make baklava for you, and other kind neighbors who volunteer to come over and move television sets for you without even knowing your first name.
- For growing girls who are wise beyond their years but who still like to lie on the couch and tell fart jokes with their (step)parents.
- For sweet clementines in season.
- For parents who cry in joy when you talk about their newest grandchild, and for parents who kindly offer much-needed funding when it seems that financial burdens are too great.
- For a husband who accomodates pregnancy cravings without mumbling, tells me "You're not fat, you're pregnant and you look fine!" and who still looks at me with eyes which light up when I walk into a room.
- For a democratic house and senate.
- For dachshunds whose feet smell like cornchips who burrow under the afghan near me and snore softly and sweetly while I watch movies.
- For friends both near and far who call me when they hear I'm sick, and throw me impromptu baby showers, and drive five hours with two children under the age of three just to help us register at Babies R Us.
- For peanut M&M's.
- For elderly patients with wizened faces and soft hands who call me "Honey" and tell me they love me when I say goodbye.
- For term limits on the presidency.
- For extended family who graciously open their homes to us and cook us steaks and bake us brownies and know my favorite brand of scotch.
- For Nature's Miracle enzymatic cleaner and cat litter deodorizer.
- For spring hyacinths.
- For hope.