Some weeks, it’s easy to write this column. Other times, it’s hard. I’ve restarted this thing five times, and killed a lot of words because they felt repetitive. Also, I wasn’t feeling like much happened that hasn’t happened, or isn’t repetitive. We went to the pool. We read. We played cards. We went to Mass. I didn’t have something affirmative to offer that wasn’t something I’ve already said. I felt dull. Dullness does not lend itself to writing a column of encouragement to count one’s blessings. The house is a mess. I had a mountain of paperwork I didn’t want to do, and zero inspiration.
Fortunately, I have a very talkative seven-year-old daughter, who from the moment she wakes peppers me with non-stop information. Whatever pops into her head, comes out of her mouth. I’m a morning person by nature, but it felt like too much until I stopped and listened to what she was doing. She knows herself to be talkative, so she was giving herself new names. “The talkative Anna.” “The chirpy Anna.” “The Happy Anna.” “Hey Mom, what’s another word for talkative?”
“The Effusive Anna.”
“The Magnificent Gorgeous Gregarious Anna.”
“The Beautiful Magnificent Gorgeous Loquacious Anna.”
She marched off singing her own praises to get dressed for the day and I thought about her happy pep talk to herself. The words from the movie The Incredibles 2 floated into my head. “Done properly, parenting is every bit as heroic as being a super hero.” I thought, “What words describe me?”
“The Grumpy Morning Mom.” I laughed. “The irritable just got up needs a diet Coke Mom.” “The she talks to herself and laughs at her own jokes Mom.” I kept going but eventually, the exercise in absurd synonyms and superlatives lifted my spirits. It wasn’t a form of counting one’s blessings, but of being blessed and recognizing the reality of it, that some days it wasn’t a feeling or even an action that we should express gratitude, but merely being.
I swept the room and fired up the computer. Thank God for all we are, and all we have, and all we have to do, and the mercy on all we have not. Today’s small success: being grateful for all that is, even as it is, and even as it is not as it should or could be.
What small successes are you celebrating this week?
Copyright 2018 Sherry Antonetti