“You say grace before meals.
But I say grace before the concert and the opera,
And grace before the play and pantomime,
And grace before I open a book,
And grace before sketching, painting,
Swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing
And grace before I dip the pen in ink.”
-G.K. Chesterton, “A Grace,” Collected Poetry
Each year, I choose a word for myself to practice and remember throughout the year. This year, the word is gratitude.
During the annual Christmas Eve gathering with my mother’s family, we also celebrated my grandparents’ 55th anniversary. As the family presented my grandparents with a gift, many shared how grateful they were for them as parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. My mother’s side of the family is pretty special and too often taken for granted (by me). Last night, I thought of the many families and children I work with. Many single mothers and fathers who don’t have other family members to rely on and receive support from or call when they are having trouble with their car (my grandfather was a mechanic).
To begin my practice of gratitude: I’m grateful for a large and supportive family that is always there for one another, no matter the distance or cause. A family that creates lasting traditions that will always be dear to my heart. I’m also grateful for the opportunity to work with the families and children I do. They have taught me much about resilience in the face of adversity. They’ve also taught me a thing or two about gratitude.