Last night as we had our bedtime rituals after a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast, my kids begged one more time to list out what they are thankful for. What a happy request! I was, as always, moved by their answers. From “God” and “the earth”, to “my nose” and “toilets!” (delivered with lots of giggles as seems compulsory with all potty talk in our house). The fact that even the 2 year old seems to grasp the idea of gratitude is amazing to me.
My eldest child then threw me a curve ball. Miss 9 said gravely, “I wish I could say “I am grateful for Africa being totally OK, with the famine over and everyone healthy and happy.” But I can’t say that. And I feel so helpless about it.”
Quite the conversation ensued. I was humbled by the openness of her heart, by the maturity of her wish and completely surprised by the depth of her concern. She’s helping me put a whole new lens on being thankful this season. As I teach her about the power of each of us to contribute as “the one”; that then grows into an even more powerful group of “the many”; we are able to shake off the crushing weight of the world’s problems and focus on what we can do right now.
How do you children surprise you with the depth of their knowledge and understanding? Do we underestimate them?