Gratitude- List Topper!

I don’t always sit and write out a Gratitude list on a daily basis. But days like this particular one top the list!

I have said it before, and I will say it again I am so beyond grateful to get to do what I do. To get to be a “stay at home mom”! One of the important things when we talked about having children was being able to volunteer at their school and be involved.

Last week was Track & Field day at school. We have the privilege of attending an amazing school, Valleyview! We are a smaller, rural school, a part of a larger tight-knit, friendly community. Typically Track & Field day is for Grades 4-8, however our school likes to include the Grades 1-3, so they can learn and experience it.

I am a parent on School Council, and we ran a fundraiser operating a Food Booth for the kids, teachers, parents and guests while watching all the events. We were able to interact with all the kids, I get to know my children’s friends better, and see their relationships grow. I am also able to see my children participate.

The boys had been talking for a week all about the events. They were so excited that morning, Mason having experienced it last year and Wyatt for the first time this year. We talked about the importance being placed on the experience and not the ribbon in the end. As most parents do, I encouraged them both to just try their best. Because they are close in age, they ended up competing against each other, in the 8 & Under group. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but things went smoothly.

My purpose in writing about this isn’t to draw attention to the ribbons my child won. it’s about the joy I saw in my son’s eyes today…the glimpse of confidence and belief in himself. Grade 2 has been a major year of growth in our home. Upon starting this year, there was some light shed on a few struggles at school. We have been working hard to help him, both here at home and through a wonderful program at Oxford Learning. There have been lot’s of tears shed by both him and I. Watching your child struggle with anything has got to be one of the hardest things to do.

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We have seen him grow so much over the last 14 months. I was affirmed of that last week when I was at the school delivering supplies for Track and Field, and was invited into his classroom to watch their drama presentation. He is shy, and I was instantly curious and anxious, a year ago this is something he would never have been willing to try. They were required to read from scripts, and I worried for him. He did great! He is incredibly blessed to have found a best buddy his age, with the same interests, who supports and encourages him. He helped him through the parts he struggled with, he gave him encouragement when he needed it….it warmed my heart as I fought back a tear or two. Again, I saw the beauty of human kindness, love, confidence, and what makes Valleyview great!

Kids, Teachers, Parents, Friends all cheering each other on, no one left to finish alone. I saw my son beam with happiness and joy, to perhaps find his niche. It was a great day, and I was able to be a part of it. Being there to see my kids grow, and find themselves is worth its weight in gold!

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There are never days when I wonder about a career. There are days when I’m overwhelmed or I’ve heard “Mom” one too many times. But I will never pass up the opportunity to be present, and involved with my children. Time is fleeting. I can’t believe it’s been 8 years of growth already. We will never get this time back, and I’m just so grateful that my husband supported my desire to do this, and works hard to make it happen. I’m grateful to have a business that we can operate, that we love, and that can be done with our children’s best interests first. Not to say that we don’t have to miss things from time to time, but for the bulk of it we are able to make it all work.

I will never take for granted the opportunities this has given me, and my family. When the kids are grown up and raising their own families, or following their own path, I hope they remember me being their biggest cheerleader. Standing on the sidelines encouraging them, supporting them, and investing in them. I hope they remember the joy on my face, from seeing them try their best, push themselves, and have success on their terms, and in their own special way. We don’t expect perfection, we expect effort, consideration, compassion and respect.

My prayer that morning as we started the day was for each of the boys to be happy, safe, feel included, and have fun. I prayed for the day to pass well, to be full of highs, for the boys to have positive experiences. Judging by the dirt on their knees, the joy on their faces, the laughter I heard all day, and the tired heads that hit the pillows that night, I would say God answered those prayers.

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I know I sound like a broken record but I am so thankful for this life. For the winding paths and streams that have brought me to this very point. That day was a good day, and we truly do have so very much to be thankful for!