Corny as it is (you noticed the photo, right?), I love reading all those Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, blogs and articles about what different people are thankful for. Friends and family are a popular choice, as is good health, a home, food. And of course I’m thankful for those things, too.
And then there are the small things. Those people, whom, in hindsight, you’re crazy grateful for as a parent, but you never had the chance to properly thank. Here are five of mine from the past year or so. I’m sure there are more, but due to my sheer desperation at the time, these are the stand-outs.
1. The woman in Target who interrupted her shopping to help search for my four-year-old, who had wandered off. By the time Target employees found my girl on the other side of the store in party supplies, I was a tad worked up on the inside (kept my steely demeanor and fake smile through it all). This woman had gone to the front to make sure the door was being guarded (incredibly, it was!) and she circled the store and always managed to find me again and be reassuring (though I didn’t need reassurance. I was steely! See my smile!). I rushed right by this really nice woman, who I couldn’t look at for fear of erupting into sobs. But thanks. Thanks, lost-kid lady.
2. Every Halloween, I put off getting costumes, hoping they’ll get cheaper or that the holiday will simply go away. They never do and it never does. It doesn’t help that my kids can never make up their minds, either. This year, though, my eight-year-old announced what she’d be for Halloween — an “old-fashioned girl” like Laura Ingalls Wilder — back in August. Turns out, prairie-wear isn’t exactly easy to come by, though I couldn’t admit that to myself until, oh, four days before Halloween when I frantically ordered one from some small company in Waltham, Mass. (We live in Southern, Calif.) Overnight shipping was not an option, yet, two days later, a dress that looked like it came directly from a polygamist compound in Texas — plus matching pinafore and sun bonnet! — were on our doorstep. Whoever runs that shop is either a parent or a procrastinator or both. Thanks.
3. Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama Red Pajama continues to get my four-year-old through separation rough spots. And yes, we still have them. From a Mama Llama, thanks Ms. Dewdney, thanks.
4. The lady who insisted on holding my screaming newborn while I laced up my girls’ ice-skates. Everyone else was shooting me dirty looks, but you, baby-holding lady, rolled your eyes at them — not me — and told me to take my time. That was so nice! Yet I was too frazzled to say thanks. But thanks.
5. The inventor of pacifiers, the Miracle Blanket, and white noise machines — the holy trinity of newborn and infant sleep aids. To you, even as my newborn is soon to turn 1, my fairly well-rested self is forever indebted.