Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ten life-changing moments of gratitude, from bathtubs to Zuckerberg

10.  Polio vaccines.  I am thankful for polio vaccines (and other vaccines too, actually.)  Folks, I am absolutely tickled pink that I don't have to worry about my kids getting polio, pretty much. Crossing that anxiety off the list right now.  If I'd have kept up with posting one thing I'm thankful for daily on Facebook, like I intended too, that would be one of them.  Along with

9.  The absence of sharks.  Yep, I'm thankful to have a phobia that I very rarely encounter, and then only on the other side of a tempered glass aquarium that I've been assured throughout life would never, ever break, really Katie, are you kidding me.  :D

And yes, I've tried to overcome this fear.  Mad at my stupid anxiety in the presence of a fish as a teen, I'd press my face against the tank and try to be calm while seeing those cold eyes and sharp teeth swim slowly and menacingly by me at Mystic Aquarium.  Now that I'm older and more mature, I just give the predatorial exhibit a wide berth and gaze at penguins.  In the words of Mark Shea "no mortal power could possess me" to get in a shark cage or swim with those ugly fish.  Nor this, which will open in the spring in Kansas City:

World's Tallest Water Slide, which I'm thankful I'll never go on
I'm also thankful for the overall absence of famine, pestilence, war, anarchy, earthquakes, and twisters where I live.  On a positive note:

8.  Bathtubs.  The year was 2001, I was hugely pregnant, I was in Europe, and I did not have a bathtub at my disposal in my Austrian dorm.  There was no way to immerse my procreating massiveness in water.  This was hugely unpleasant.  So we had the opportunity to visit Ireland, Dan took me to the tourist spot I most wanted to see: a B&B with a white tub, in a white, windowless bathroom.  Where I stayed for blissful hours at a time.

 I love my bathtub.  Yes, it was designed in the 30's for a generation that attained, judging by the length, the regal height of about 4 feet.  Yes, when you immerse in said tub, you close your eyes not so much out of a desire for relaxation, but more of an urge to shut out the areas of soap residue you couldn't see while cleaning from a more upright angle.  Yes, your preschoolers will positively howl when they realize mommy is taking a bath to which they are not invited.  It's still worth it.  At least every six months or so.  With epsom salts.  Because they rock.  Really you must try them.

7.  Speaking of baths... I'm thankful to have, despite various chronic issues, an intact and serviceable body.  I just took a bath in aforementioned tub, infused with a dead sea salt tea-like concoction that worked magic such that I've only taken two Advil and one frozen bag of rice to the couch to write this.  Anyway, I had time to consider my pluses and minuses and you know... it's a win.  For having given life to four kids on earth and two in heaven... I'm content.  We all should give our bodies more credit than we tend to do, we women especially, and okay guys too, especially

6.  Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.  I'm thankful for them.  Personally, I didn't get introduced to the internet until college, and our entire dorm shared a corded phone.  When my kids get to college, I can Skype with them on a tablet.  I mean, that's awesome.  :)  I really appreciate I-Phones and Facebook.  I love looking up information and getting it instantly.  Yes, it can be abused, and yes we need to get some eye to eye contact with human beings but... wow.  Thanks, gentlemen.

5.  Fruit.  Sweet, healthy, no cooking required.  As we prepare for Thanksgiving, I am reminded that there was no cooking in Eden.  Macintosh apples are my favorites, an apparent genetic preference since I rarely get to eat any with all my kids ravenous for them as well.   I am not thankful that these seem harder to obtain these days.  I remember when you could get these any time of year, harumph. Which reminds me:

4.  Memory.  I mean, most of the time, I have some.  What was I saying again?  Oh yeah.  It's great to have memories!  Wouldn't it be awful if we just lived linearly?  I love the ability to be in the doldrums of peeling potatoes and busting out laughing over a prank a friend played on me in college.  Speaking of pranks: just today, I found two empty soda bottles in my mailbox (since it was hours ago, I still remember this.)  I've been grinning all afternoon plotting the return of these objects.  Also been grinning while thinking of the imminent visit of

Awesome pic of the three of us.  You're welcome. :D
3.  Inlaws.  To be precise, my sisters-in-law, our flesh-and-blood fairy godmothers.  I've been absolutely overwhelmed by the thoughtfullness, generosity, and kindness of these two ladies, which has materialized in everything from furniture to shoes.  It's a rare woman who can take another woman and say, "Sister, I love you dearly, but you are never to wear x article of clothing again. Here's five new ones of x.  Wear them or I will haunt you." And oh!  They have great taste.  :D And they are such fun to go Black Friday shopping with (no, I didn't say Thanksgiving shopping: we will dutifully be thankfully eating turkey at the proper times, never fear.)  Thanks to these beautiful ladies, Black Friday shopping is very much "family time."  Even more so than Thanksgiving football.  Go figure. :)

2.  Women and Infants Hospital.  Yes, they were awful during my pregnancy losses.  But they also sent me home with my 32 weeker, who's now a towering 11 year-old little mommy to her sisters. I'm very grateful for that, and that I can work to affect change at the hospital to help other women have better experiences.  Currently, I'm honored to be putting together a "miscarriage task force" to improve the treatment of women who have losses at the hospital.  Please feel free to message me with any personal stories, ideas on what to do, and/or what to avoid when a mom has a baby they can't take home. And thanks for your prayers for the success of this project! 

1.  Literacy.  Cuz how bad would it be if, like centuries of people before us, we couldn't read or write?

It goes without saying that I'm tremendously grateful for God and my faith, my husband and kids, my friends, my country, my home.  And you.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  :)

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever." Psalm 136:1

1 comment:

  1. I think I just had a slight anxiety attack looking at that water slide. I'm also thankful that I will never be on it.