Expressing Daily Gratitude

gratitude by judyjordanscott on flickr

I always tell my daughter I am grateful to be her mother.

Over and over and over again.

And, I always tell her it was to my extreme joy she was born the week of Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, ever. I would gladly give up every single other holiday and just celebrate Thanksgiving. De verdad.

So, this year, my daughter’s birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day, and that lovely fact makes it feel like its my birthday and Christmas and Valentine’s — all in one shot. A blast of love and celebration all at once.

Imagine: The house will be filled with our favorite people, our home will smell of woodsmoke and comfort foods, and we will dine on pumpkin flan and birthday cake — again, all on the same day.

No puedo esperar.

It is stuff like this — a simple colliding of favorite dates — that reminds me how good simple things are, how coincidences are wonderful, and how expressing gratitude is the key to my own personal peace.

I am trying, como madre buena, to pass on the explicit and deliberate habit of expressing daily gratitude to my daughter.

We talk gratitude for the sun, as well as the rain, for strong bodies, for shelter and warmth on chilly Fall days. We talk about volunteering, we talk about giving — and we do both. The list goes on.

Maybe my mucho habla habla on gratitude stems from hearing nearly all my relatives say: “Gracias a Dios” all the time.

I do encourage my daughter to pray, but our family’s lessons and conversations about gratitude are more about realizing that life is good, no matter what; that light always follows dark and that a grateful heart is a happy heart. (I believe gratitude is the combatant of brattiness!)

Big lessons for a little girl. But, I think she gets it.

And then, of course, she doesn’t always.

She isn’t always grateful because she’s, like, not even 8. And those moments make me crazy, crazy enough that I have to stop and remind myself that, well, she isn’t even 8 yet.

There’s the lesson for me. It isn’t always as I think it should be, right?

Regardless, I know that come Thanksgiving Day, she’ll definitely be out of her mind with gratitude for the flan and birthday cake at her place setting.

And maybe one day grateful too for the lessons in gratitude.

Y tu?

And you, do you practice expressing gratitude regularly? If you do, what does the practice offer you?

“A person however learned and qualified in his life’s work in whom gratitude is absent, is devoid of that beauty of character which makes personality fragrant.” — Hazrat Inayat Khan.

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By Carrie on November 2, 2011 · Posted in del alma

11 Comments | Post Comment

Lisa Quinones-Fontanez says:

I love this! Every day, I am grateful for the beautiful family I have. I probably don’t tell them as much as I should, but I think it every day.

Posted on November 2nd, 2011

Mercedes @BeChicMag says:

Amen, Carrie! As I get older and I’m getting more into the routine of saying Thanks Be to God often. I even share on my Facebook status to spread the love.
Mercedes @BeChicMag´s last [fabulousness] ..Beauty Tips for Conferences | Giveaway

Posted on November 2nd, 2011

Unknown Mami says:

I don’t always get it that I should be grateful and I’m 40. What’s my excuse?

Posted on November 2nd, 2011

Ericka says:

Felicidades a tu niña! My son is the greatest blessing too and I am grateful everyday for him. Saludos!

Posted on November 2nd, 2011

Eliana Tardio says:

Yes , I do, I teach my children every day to be grateful for everything we have. The first thing they learned to say was THANK YOU and it has been their key to open many doors in life, because they never forget to tell the teacher, the bus driver, the cashier and everyone around. I feel very proud of that, because being grateful for what we have is the way of atracting good things to our lives :)

Posted on November 2nd, 2011

Abuela says:

I give thanks for my health & pray for those that are ill,specially the children, I pray the Lord to keep my children & their family safe in his arms.
Yes indeed,our Maria is a precious gift & I thank you too.

Posted on November 2nd, 2011

vianney says:

Lovely post Carrie, my family is what I cherish the most and I give thanks for them daily! Love that you daughter is born on a wonderful week!
vianney´s last [fabulousness] ..Dia de Los Muertos – Chocolate Skull Cake

Posted on November 2nd, 2011

Maura at The Other Side of The Tortilla says:

I try to express gratitude as often as possible, and sometimes even put “say thank you to (name) for (whatever they did or said that I’m thankful for)” on my to do list so that I don’t forget to give thanks and credit where they are due. In a fast-paced world, sometimes we can easily forget that a little gratitude goes a long way. It’s amazing how just a few words have the power to make others feel good.
Maura at The Other Side of The Tortilla´s last [fabulousness] ..Celebrating Día de Los Muertos

Posted on November 3rd, 2011

Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ says:

what a special thanksgiving this year for sure! did i read pumpkin flan! i’d love to know how you’re going to make yours! and it’s such a blessing to love your daughter the way you do. my mom and i have an extremely special bond and she shows her gratitude for her 5 kids in the smallest way. my favorite: a morning phone call with a made up song, in pitch and so meaningful! i looove it. i record a lot of them, too, if she happens to leave them in voicemail!

Posted on November 3rd, 2011

Morena says:

I don’t know if I express gratitude that much outwardly, but inwardly I do. Just like you, I feel greatful for the sun, the wind, the blu skies, my food, the people who cultivated my food, the earth and rain that helped it grow. And I’m always aware and thankful, cause I know I have an amazing karma, and I’m better off than most people in the planet. I’m 100% sure your daughter will be greatful for those lessons in gratitude, that’s the biggest gifts you can give her.

Posted on November 3rd, 2011

Tia Mirtha says:

Mi sobrina, estoy muy proud of you for teaching Maria to be grateful, (agradecida). Yo le doy Gracias a Dios todo los dias, por el sol, las flores, los pajaritos, y especialmente por la salud. Por poder difrutar un dia mas de tantas cosas bellas. Le doy gracias, por lo bueno y por lo malo, por que de lo malo aprendemos mucho.
I love you.

Posted on November 5th, 2011