Definition - the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy from the inside out. You see, every year since I can remember, as my family digs into our juicy turkey, gravy and coveted stuffing - we go around the table and say what we are most thankful for that year. Thanksgiving becomes a week full of reflection, thinking about the year and what I could possibly say I am grateful for. Honestly, some years it's hard to find something and others it's hard to pick only one - indicative of the hills and valleys of our journey through this crazy life.
This year is a bit different for a few reasons (bare with me, I'm getting to the good stuff soon):
- Every week one of my dear friends and I share 3 things we are thankful for, which can be as mundane as I am thankful I didn't have to clean the toilet this week or I am grateful I had time to watch Grey's Anatomy. Now, every week I reflect on what I am grateful for instead of once a year.
- I welcomed another healthy child into this world in July. With two healthy, happy children and the ultimate partner - it's easy to say what I am MOST grateful for this year.
- CHILD CARE - we are a family with two working parents in Southern California, child care is a necessity. As a member of this community providing support in any way I can, I have always respected and admired providers and those who support them. Now, as a parent depending on the child care community - my respect and admiration has evolved.
SO CHILD CARE COMMUNITY, on this thanksgiving week, I would like to extend my gratitude to you for these reasons and more.
I am grateful:
- for child care providers who are using their own time and money to make an optimal caring and learning environment for our children
- that the Child and Adult Care Food Program exists to help educate (and reimburse) child care providers and centers about nutrition and wellness for children
- for those that administer all of the necessary paperwork to be a licensed child care facility
- for the providers who hug our children when they are so sad we leave them for the day
- for parent advocates doing what they can to make child care for everyone better
- for health and wellness funding focusing on making the child care environment one with physical activity, play and nutrition as a priority
- for people at the federal level doing what they can to make child care and early learning a priority
- for advocates calling, marching and talking at the local and federal levels - making it so working parents can still provide the best care to their children, even when their children aren't with them
- for the plethora of mommy and child care bloggers sharing their experiences, learning, craft and activity ideas as they interact with the children in their care
- for CACFP Sponsors and those who support them as they administer the program, provide support to providers and educate about healthy lifestyles for children
- Tom Copeland's sage business advice for family child care providers
- child care associations providing support and educational opportunities to providers
- child care resource and referral organizations working with providers and parents
- for the providers who provide parental guidance and support
- for for facebook pages and other online communities that make it possible for child caregivers to talk to each other and ask questions - constantly learning from each other
- I'm grateful supporting community is my job
- I am grateful to this community for helping me raise my children.
A big and sincere thank you to each and every one of you.
I'd love to share what the child care community is grateful for...if you'd like to share please send my way firstname.lastname@example.org.
(originally published in ChildCareInfo.com Newsletter)