November brings with it cooler weather, leaves of gold and the feeling of thanks in the air. It’s the perfect time to begin a practice of gratitude. You Know Neen is hosting the 2nd Annual 30 Days of Gratitude blog series, a place where the experience of gratitude will be explored and shared. I, along with several other contributors will be sharing our thoughts on all things gratitude.
It’s Saturday night, 11:30 p.m. and I’m still a bit overcome with Kate McKinnon’s rendition of Hallelujah while portraying Hillary Clinton. The deep voice of my ever-growing teenage boy grumbles from the next room “Mom, remember we’re going to get my phone fixed tomorrow, right?
Ugh. I answer yes, of course. Sunday morning is the first chance we’ve had all week to run this errand. But. I wouldn’t be lying if I told you I wanted to pass the task off to Hubs or even my daughter. Surely, he doesn’t need me… And yet, something told me to go. I listened.
So rather than posting my gratitude blog, getting other writing assignments done or just lounging around reading the Sunday paper, I got up, got dressed and sat in the passenger seat as my newly permitted driver took the wheel.
“Are you ok with me driving on the expressway,” he asked.
No, not really, I think.
“You’re a great driver, of course I am,” I answer. And off we go to Apple. He drives well, with equal parts confidence and caution, much like he lives his life. He turns up the radio and we listen to a 90s throwback playlist. We start talking about lane merging and fall weather and basketball tryouts. We are talking. More importantly – HE is talking. With me.
And I’m grateful. And I’m buoyant. And I am hanging on every word and so very happy in this moment because, teenage boys. I can feel his calmness while he drives and speaks and asks me questions about the election. I tell him truthfully I am upset and concerned about the direction of our nation. I tell him I want to listen better to those with different beliefs, but right now I cannot understand how anyone could vote for Trump after the constant and flagrant and proud racist remarks he’s made.
He listens. He asks questions. I tell him right now it is important to be calm, collected and respectful. It is time to listen. But it is always important to be concerned. He listens.
And then he suggests Chipotle for lunch. And he wants to eat there. With me. So we go and we chat and we laugh and we discuss the merits of black beans and guacamole. We talk about how different it will be next year when Daughter is off at college and there are three of us at the dinner table instead of four.
And then Biggie comes on the radio singing Hypnotize and we turn up the volume. And I ask a very important question: Biggie or Tupac? “Hands down Tupac Mom.”
“What? How is this possible I didn’t know this about you Boy?”
“Biggie’s great, but Tupac is inspirational. I like Nas too, but West Coast has Tupac, Dre, Snoop, NWA. Kendrick. Come on Mom, you know I’m right.”
And we go on and we laugh. And I tell him he gets his music taste from me. He agrees (SWOON.) I ask him to give me some new song recommendations from Chance the Rapper. He does. And I like them. And now, I’m getting my music taste from him.
And so much more. This happened on a sunny Sunday, because of a broken iPhone. Something told me to go with my teenage son. I’m so grateful I listened.
Have you started a gratitude practice this month? Read more about #30DaysofGratitude.
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