Gratitude – 3/14/2021

  1.  Both my mom and I received our second vaccines. A persistent and terrible fear that some tiny action I take will inadvertently kill my mom has lived inside of me for the last year. This fear is not gone but is slowly dripping away.  
  2. My son and I went to buy new, fresh books at The Red Balloon, and before we went in, he looked at me with his eyes shining and said, “This is like my favorite place.”
  3. Then we went to buy croissants for breakfast at Bread and Chocolate,
  4. walking past shops that left bowls of water out for passing-by dogs.
  5. My kids went to school on the same day this week for the first time in a year,
  6. and had an energy in their steps and a happiness in their voices that was impossible to miss.
  7. My daughter carried my son’s saxophone for him the whole way so they could walk together.
  8. Spring has come early in Minnesota. The sun is out. The grass is turning green, and I can hear birds in the morning,  
  9. My sister-in-law’s family came over to eat corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s day.
  10. The kids jumped on the trampoline, climbed trees, and had sword fights with sticks.
  11. They brought a key like pie, my favorite, for dessert.
  12. I am grateful for my sister-in-law, who is a nurse. She told me that she is spending twenty hours a week giving vaccines on top of having to do her normal job.
  13. She said it without even a hint of bitterness.  
  14. She told me about the challenges of doing her job, using the language line in a loud and crowded space to answer questions.
  15. I keep thinking about the nurses that gave me my vaccine and trying to remember if I thanked them, wishing I had asked them their names. I am so grateful for them.
  16. I have been thinking a lot about a Buddhist concept called sympathetic joy, a practice where you focus on feeling happy for other people when something good happens to them. It takes more work and concentration than sympathy, at least for me. Reading about injustices and feeling angry is effortless. Feeling joy in my bones when something good happens for someone else is more difficult. I have been practicing feeling joy for the families that will receive the child tax credit, which will cut child poverty in this country by fifty percent, especially those with the greatest need. 
  17. Parents will receive a $300 monthly tax credit for each child that they can spend however they see fit. I love the dignity of that.  
  18. No-income and low-income families, who currently receive no tax credit for children, will receive this benefit.
  19. This bill would not have passed in the Senate without Stacy Abrams (and all of the other unseen people who got out the vote in Georgia).
  20. Thousands of unaccompanied children have been arriving at the U.S. border. This challenge must seem insurmountable, but Biden has vowed to treat them with respect and humanity.  
  21. I am grateful for every single moment that Donald Trump is not the president.

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