Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Grateful list

I just sent the four boys to their rooms to write their lists of "200 things I am grateful for" as assigned by their older brother C, who is currently serving a mission.  After reading the boys' letters this morning, C felt as though the kids are ungrateful and need to improve on this.  By the time I got to the end of his letter I was crying wondering what in the world they have written him the last couple of letters for him to say that.  So, I looked up this mornings email that they sent to him.  They were full of "absolutely miserable" and "ridiculously boring", "there wasn't very many things to do" (the grammar kills me there) and "bored out of our minds" along with "I hate all the driving on the trip to come" when in fact we haven't even put on our seat belts to leave just yet.  

I'll just say it.  I was ticked and I was both yelling and crying while sending them to their rooms.  I heard the kids laughing and giggling and it was obvious that they weren't in their rooms writing.  I continued to get after them telling them that they needed to write before eating lunch.  After awhile, I saw the first list.  It's full of kittens, bees, flies, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, etc.  You get the picture.  I ripped the paper in half and told him to start over.  I'll just say that I own all iPod touches, DSs, gameboys, etc and NOTHING will be returned until I am pleased with the lists.  

The boys returned upstairs giggling and insisting that they were done with their lists.  That's when notes went up on the cabinets.  A note like, 

"You will not go on another cruise until you go with your wife at your expense and you pay for your own babysitter!"  That one comes from talk of going on a cruise next year. 

Along with this little treasure I found on facebook today.  

Just as I finished taping up the last paper, I received  a phone call.  It was my visiting teacher.  I kind of giggled while saying I was okay.  Then I just laid it out there.  That's when she was the inspired visiting teacher and told me, "They're just being kids".  She reassured me several times.  I thought back to when I was seventeen and my parents took all seven of us kids to the Grand Canyon for a "trip".  We got there and said, "Oh", and wanted to go home.  I know my parents were a little disappointed.  Now that I'm on the other end, it was/is very hurtful to hear my kids not excited for our upcoming family vacation.  We've put a lot of time and planning into it.  There will be a lot of expense.  D is taking the longest vacation he ever has in probably twelve years.  I'm frustrated.

I keep thinking of the list I would make.  It's been going through my head the last few days.  I lost a neighbor Saturday night so I'm grateful that I still have D.  I want to make the most of every day with every person in my life.  I just reunited with four of my South Dakota friends yesterday and I was on a high all day.  I'm grateful for each of them, the memories I have with them and their influence on me as a woman.  

I just saw another list, it's going back again, but we're beginning to get it.  I explained that I didn't just want one word answers but word with whys.  That's when this child finally got it.  He said, "But there would be four zillion things to write down!"  Yes.  That's right.  So just give your most heart felt two hundred right now.  

D threatens the kids that he'll drive them down to Tijuana and drop them off if they're ungrateful.  I kind of want to keep them with me so we're going to get this list of 200 things right.  :)

I want my kids to be grateful and to have that attitude of gratitude.  I want the kids to make the most of our vacation and look forward to each part of it.  No matter what it entails.  I want them to go into it knowing that whatever they put into it, they'll get out of it.  

Top of my grateful list right now;  A picture I found of my friend Carla who passed away a few years ago.  She was the most amazing, sweetest, God fearing woman I have known.  I love and miss her.  

And, I'm grateful for my visiting teacher.  She brought a smile back to my face when I needed it.  What's at the top of your grateful list today?

1 comment:

Erika said...

I love it. Love the lists and that C told them to do. Love the quote. It's true. Our kids expect to be entertained at every turn. Sigh. Hard work, this child-rearing.