The Gratitude Game

Well, it started off as a good idea.

When I say prayers with my little boy every night, I have him tell me three things he is thankful for.  Sometimes he surprises me, but most nights his little 3-year-old brain predictably rattles off the same three things:  “My feet, my blanket, and my [insert random item here].”  After awhile I tried to come with a way to better grasp gratefulness, so I started adding my own – things like, thank you Jesus that we are healthy, that we have nice friends, or that we have enough money to do fun things together as a family.

Then one night, as he was once again telling me that he was thankful for his feet and his blanket I explained to him that, yes, his feet were a wonderful thing to be thankful for because some children don’t have feet that work as well as his, and can’t run and jump and play like he does.  I then agreed that we are indeed thankful for his blanket, too, because some children don’t have a blanket and get cold while they sleep.

Let’s just say I rocked his world.  For about five minutes.

It is now, unfortunately, a game.  If I skip the extended discussion of his gratitude list, he stops me in the middle of our prayer.  “No Mommy, you have to tell me that some children don’t have pillows!”  And so I sigh, and explain to him that some children don’t have pillows.  Or Spider-Man slippers.  Or puzzles.  Or whatever the item of the day is.

Just last week he was in the bathroom and I heard him say, to nobody in particular, “Some children don’t have toothbrushes.”

It’s a bit disheartening that this recognition of our blessings has become so trite in our house.  I hope that continuing our gratitude list at the end of the day will eventually instill some actual gratitude and I’ll look back on this blog post and be thankful I stuck with it.

Because, in case you didn’t know, some children don’t have a mommy with a blog.

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