A Thankful Morning

Some days start softly and never build up to a crescendo of anything. Productivity maintains a steady turtle-like pace, no ebb and flow. The day opens clean and bright. The sky offers no contrast. No urgency awaits. This is life in the slow lane.

The phone rings. The slightly sleepy voice of your adult son chimes hello. Just checking in, confirming his relentless work schedule: full of double shifts, lacking days off for weeks to come. His voice holds his smile, grateful for the busyness as well as the business, no complaints. Nor have you, full of thanks that he calls. Yes, he says, he continues to take his supplements—but he could do better and vows he will. Meanwhile, launching into a detailed discussion with his father (who quickly grabbed the other extension), they discuss making healthy homemade bowls of ramen, the optimal way to cut the vegetables, to lower the salt content of the broth, which soy sauce to buy at the Asian market, expounding on the pleasures of cooking for yourself on a tight budget and succeeding!

You hang up the phone and sigh. Glad that this phone call was not fraught with drama, knowing that as long as you are a parent, each ring will produce first worry, then joy. No lack of confidence in your off-spring, just the nature of the beast.

A second call, not moments later: the daughter checks in! It’s a dad and daughter call to discuss bargain hunting for new tires. But you listen, enjoying the camaraderie, knowing tidbits of life stories will creep into the discussion: a treasured friend, in her third attempt at college, graduates on Friday, newly accepted into a competitive Master degree program. The cats are due for their shots. Is it time for new cat carriers, she wonders? The offer her boyfriend made on a house remains unanswered. She, too, recently talked to her brother, confirming a general cheerfulness.

Amid societal, political, economic, news-stream turmoil, how gratifying to encounter such a morning, such a gift. I vow not to be complacent, but on this day, in this small town, in this moment, expressing thanks that all is well.

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