Last Saturday, The Husband and I zipped The Kid into his reindeer fleece and headed to Roswell’s town square for their annual lighting. Their square is cooler than ours (because we don’t have one), and it’s the halfway point between us and The Sis and her Fam, so we joined forces a few feet from the free Starbucks table. Some kids sang, TH and The Bro-in-Law talked, Santa rode in on a fire truck, the square lit up, and The Sis held TK while I hung The Niece upside-down on my arm. And as we stood there together, I thought about how all roads lead home.
This is the fun part. Last year at this time, TH and I were trying to prepare for a boot camp that would kick our asses. This year, TK is crawling all over the place and eating new stuff rather than gagging on it. He’s learning something every day and becoming a little person. I mean, yesterday I shared a club sandwich with him. WHAT?!
There were (and always will be), also, the non-fun parts: bad dates, wrong decisions, sleeplessness, loneliness, scary doctor visits, being broke, feeling lost. What I’m thankful for every time I remember it, and what I try to keep remembering, is that life is a story. We’re living a narrative written by someone else’s hand, and thank God for it. Because the hard parts are essential to that story, they belong to it too, but they’re never the whole of it. At any point, we don’t know where we are in this narrative. I’m so thankful that life is not a list like the one I used to turn it into–an epic “To Do” written on a calendar in bullet points that was eventually pried from my hands. Into them was placed, instead, a book still being written.
I’m thankful that I’m not a status update or a resume. I’m thankful that it’s The Good News, not The Always Attractive and Appealing News. I’m thankful that steep climbs and winding roads can lead to a moment on a December night, with The Niece in my arms and The Kid in The Sis’s, life lighting up all around us.