Whine production has been greatly increased lately. Sam is eating fine but Kate has objections every night. We give her a time limit and tell her she can eat by that time or go to bed at that time.
So that's really (not) fun.
There's a great deal of complaining about non-food things too, things awful parents would suggest, like going to the pool (at home) or taking a boat ride (at the camp). We noticed it particularly after I got back from South Carolina and would look at each other, eyes wide, wondering when did these spoiled children arrive?
I was working on a big lecture in my mind when a friend posted this link* on facebook. Craig and I talked about how, instead of insisting they be more grateful, we show them what we mean when we say "appreciate all that we have."
*yeah. there's no link. I can't find the post. I've been through the whole month of July and can't find the one I want. I invite you to head over to A Holy Experience and look yourself; it's a post that begins by saying "what if all we had each day were things we gave thanks for the day before" and then there's pictures of sticky notes on a window and she talks about how they write down something they're thankful for on the sticky notes at lunch.
So we've tried. Writing this now, I realize it's been a week. We did this last Monday with my parents and not since. But (thankfully), we have tonight.
For beautiful, heart-squeezing, choked up moments of amazement, this can't be beat. We each get a little piece of paper and write one thing on it that we're thankful for. More often than not we each write three or four. Sam covers both sides sometimes. Kate draws pictures or we spell for her the word she wants. Then we read them out loud.
(insert cool, well-lit, short depth-of-field shots of their papers here that a good blogger would have)
Because we have a lot. It's so easy to look around and see what we don't have so this stopping and thinking about what we do have . . . it's sweet. It usually ends with hugs all around.
I'm thankful for my healthy, verbal children who can communicate effectively (if not always pleasantly) . . . and thankful, too, for this new path of thankfulness God is direcitng us to.
'Cause I was having no luck bottling that whine.