Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blessings of Ingratitude

My kids are ungrateful, self-absorbed and completely oblivious to the troubles of those around them. And you know, I think I'm ok with that.

Yes you read that right. I think it's ok that my kids are completely unaware of how much they have to be thankful for. It's not that I don't want them to learn gratitude and thankfulness for everything they have been handed in life. It's that I am thankful for the ability to raise children who have no idea how shitty life can be.

Perhaps I'm still not making sense. It was all so clear to me this morning as all three of us were snuggled in bed and Nolan said to me "Mommy, I'm thankful for a nice warm house." It was one of those things that are so sweet to hear, and yet I know that it's a rehearsed line handed to him by myself, his dad, and by his teachers at preschool. Because Nolan has no idea what it means to live anywhere but in a warm house. His four year old brain doesn't have the capacity to understand that his life is not the life enjoyed by all.

And I realized that my kids having no idea how lucky they are is really what makes them so lucky. Or some sort of similar logic.

They don't know any other life but one of safety, warmth, happiness and security. They can be told to be thankful and repeat back by rote what they are thankful for, why they have so much to be thankful for. But they don't have the slightest clue what that really means. Which leads me to a different rant.

Guess what people? We are all the 1%. Everyone in this country. We are all living a life that much of the world can't even imagine. Do we have some poverty? Yes. Do we have problems. Sure. But our problems don't begin to compare to what others face every day in places torn by war, disease, famine and the daily face of death. So for Thanksgiving, stop acting like my preschoolers and acknowledge it. Put down the picket signs and see the life you live.

When you're 4 and 3, as my kids are, you should be able to live a life where you don't really understand why you should be grateful. But as for me, even in the face of financial struggles and difficult decisions for our family, I know that I have everything, absolutely everything to be thankful for. As for me, I'm thankful that my kids have no point of reference for gratitude, and thankful for the ability to give them that life.

And that's my Thanksgiving thoughts. Serious moment over, it's time for turkey.

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