Giving Thanks -- by Jamie
As a single mother by choice, I put a lot of thought and effort into becoming a mother, and therefore, I feel very fortunate to be one. I’m especially grateful to Jayda’s sperm donor for helping me create her. But at times when I’m frustrated or disappointed with my daughter’s behavior, I need to remind myself to be thankful that my issues with Jayda aren’t big ones. I may stress over our reward system for potty training, what nursery school will be welcoming and challenging enough for Jayda, and how to get her to fall asleep without rubbing her back and holding her in my arms, but I am fortunate enough to have a healthy, happy, intelligent, and well-loved daughter—and in the grand scheme of things, that’s a lot to be thankful for.
In addition to being a mother, I’m thankful for having a mother—especially one who is so wise, loving, and caring, as well as a wonderful grandmother to Jayda. At a time when I’ve recently witnessed several of my friends lose their mothers, and have listened to others complain about, or battle with their moms, I know I’m very lucky to have a mother who is an amazing maternal figure—as well as my good friend.
I’m also thankful for my father, who has always supported and loved me, and has been there for me to lean on. He epitomizes the type of male role model I want Jayda to have in her life, and fortunately, he’s involved very deeply with her upbringing. He also exhibits many of the qualities I’d like to find in a mate for myself someday, and I’m thankful to him for showing me the depth of love and kindness that both Jayda and I deserve.
After recently listening to the trials of one of my teenage relatives, who laments over not having any good girlfriends, I’ve realized how thankful I should be for my girlfriends. I still socialize with several high school and college friends, as well as my best friend from elementary school. Just as importantly, in the past few years I’ve made some wonderful “mommy friends”—women with children Jayda’s age, whom I can confide in and count on just as much as my friends from my youth. I’ve never taken my friends for granted, but I suppose I may sometimes underestimate how lucky I am to have so many solid connections in my life. And though I still find it difficult to ask my friends for help when I’m in a bind, at least I know I have friends to lean on if I need them. And I’m thankful for that.
Last but not least, I’m thankful for Barney (Aaaargh…did I really just say that?!) for “babysitting” Jayda while I read my paper in the morning, for Folgers coffee for giving me the extra energy I need after Jayda’s 5 a.m. wake-ups, for Gold’s Gym for helping me release my stress (well, at least some of it!) in a positive way every morning, and for all the laughter I have in my life—be it Jayda’s raucous giggles, or my own squeals of amusement while gossiping with friends. These days, while I often find myself stressing over my finances, and my plans for the future, I’m grateful that my life, in general, is filled with happiness, and a wealth of good times. And thankfully, as a result, Jayda is a very happy person, full of lots of laughter, herself. I can only hope she’ll be that way for the rest of her long life. Amen.