Saturday, October 11, 2008

What I'm Grateful For

What I'm Grateful For
I woke up today at 5:00 and thought I'd keep a mental list of the greatest parts of my day. Now it's 10:15 on Friday night. I'm looking at the sleeping form of my wife on the couch. She fell asleep watching the news. As I end this day, I think of Heidi, the greatest blessing in my life. We met in a college class in the winter of 1976. I have been deeply in love with her ever since. I remember the very day I fell in love (I cannot speak for her). I remember it clearly.

Back to today's blessings...
*Waking up. At all. Just waking up.
*Waking up to the beautiful sleepy face of my wife, Heidi.
*It being Friday.
*Hawaiian coffee. Light roast, very strong.
*This new book I'm reading - Same Kind of Different As You.
*The warm sleepy goodbye hug and kiss from same Heidi.
*John Fogerty's new album on the way to work.
*NPR, perhaps the only "fair and balanced" news on the radio.
*This subtle, graceful, pale blue/gray sunrise. Overcast. Breezy.
*Early fall.
*Time alone in my classroom.
*The anticipation of a great Friday with my second graders.
*The sounds of children through my door. Hearing their excitement at being at school.
*The first hugs, fist bumps, high fives and handshakes of my earnest children as they come into the classroom at the very beginning of the day.
*Playing chess with a seven year old.
*Helping kids understand some challenging math.
*Talking about the news with little ones.
*Learning about animals, addition with regrouping and place value, sharing a favorite book with second graders (The Prince of the Pond by Donna Jo Napoli).
*Discussing writer's craft with young writers. Finding craft in their writing.
*Talking about the election with an earnest group of learners.
*Watching history unfold with young children.
*Lunch with my students. Making each other laugh. Sharing story.
*Recess on our dusty field.
*The tears of a little one who has fallen.
*Playing the best playground game ever .
*Laughing, running and sweating with my new group of best friends.
*Walking to the public library. Looking for animals all the way there.
*Helping children check out good books.
*Walking back to school. Looking for bugs the whole way. Finding lots. Gold.
*Singing songs with children.
*My fingers which, however feeble, allow me to play guitar.
*My voice which, however creaky, allows me to teach these young ones to sing.
*The good sense to stop singing when they have learned the song.
*Listening to my best teacher friend, Tameka, read one of my favorite books (More Than *Anything Else) to my old class and my new class. 45 of the best people I have ever known in one room. Gold.
*The quiet school building after the kids and teachers have gone home.
*Driving home.
*The moon, rising through the hazy early evening sky.
*The early fall colors just now being revealed. The anticipation of another beautiful fall.
*Pulling into my neighborhood.
*That first evening kiss as I see Heidi.
*My dog's smile as she wags her entire body in greeting.
*Our Friday evening together.
*Sharing our respective days.
*Remembering our own children when they were small.
*Looking into the beautiful sleeping face of my true love as she snoozes on the couch.
*Knowing that tomorrow is Saturday.
*The anticipation of my sleepy boys waking up tomorrow (I'll probably be asleep before they get home).
*My home.

The thing is, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The tip of the tip. Even as I sat writing this,
I knew that in a single day I have so many blessings that I couldn't name them all. We all do. Make a list some day. It feels good.

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