It is 11:11, the wishing minute, and Ruthie is finally quiet. Our air mattress is still set up on her bedroom floor from when her cousins stayed over two nights ago, so she is asleep there instead of in her bed or on the floor next to my bed. She begged me to let her sleep in her underpants tonight–no pajamas, no pants, no short–and I finally gave in. I’ll turn the heat up and extra degree or two tonight and check her a few times to make sure that her covers are still in place.

Our new guinea pigs spent almost the whole day in their living room playpen, snuggled up together under their little blue igloo. Now they are back in their cage. They have stopped running laps. Luke is chewing on a paper bag in the corner. Chewy is sleeping. I still need to vacuum the fleece on the floor where the hung out all day and put away their playpen, but what’s the rush?

Chalupa is in our bedroom, taking some medicine. He doesn’t feel great, but he has been so much better lately than most of the last six months. We have been to the movies twice this week, which is nearly unheard of ever since we became parents. We’ve had real conversations this month, after weeks of him just trying to breathe. Talking takes the backseat when you’re struggling to get enough air. Because he can’t go over to my mom’s on account of her cats, he spent Thanksgiving here at home, cooking up a Mexican feast of enchiladas. It’s his Thanksgiving tradition. He also started cooking pork for the chalupa that will be my birthday meal this weekend. Seeing him cook again makes me feel incredibly happy.

If I were to go out my front door and walk to my left, I could walk along a curved gravel path through the patch of woods that separates my house from my mom’s. That is where my family spent the holiday, cooking and talking and shouting over the TV. It was what the holiday is supposed to be.

My Facebook feed is full of people’s thoughts about what they’re thankful for this season, this year. Sometimes I can get tired of the month of thankful posts that happen in November, but I don’t tire of the ones that pop up today. I think it’s good for us to voice the things we are grateful for. Among my friends, I see people whose lives are easy and whose lives are hard, and many of them are sharing their hearts and gratitude.

I, too, am grateful.

I am grateful for this quiet moment. I am grateful for a mostly clean kitchen (thanks, Chalupa!), the silly little guinea pigs in their cage, this warm house, the beautiful hand-me-down couch I’m sitting on, the baby inside me who grows stronger every day, a family full of people I love, and a little girl who was so happy and excited tonight about nothing in particular that she couldn’t go to sleep until hours after we had first put her to bed.

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