Whilst we were in Ireland, Big Boy was often seen writing in his little notebook. We had asked him once or twice if he was okay, but we just assumed that he was creating yet more levels of Computer Games that he wasn't ready for us to see yet. This is quite a common occurrence. However, one evening he allowed me to see what was in his notebook. As I looked, I realised that he had been keeping a diary whilst we were away in Ireland.
He stood there, watching me as I read his words. My eyes started to blur and I had to blink away my tears because I didn't want him to think I was sad at what I was reading. I was reading something beautiful. Something amazing and I could see that he was full of gratitude for what he was experiencing.
We already knew that he was excited about the holiday that we had taken him and his sister on. With each new experience he seemed to smile a bit brighter, he was constantly looking about for each new thing, for each thing that he hadn't seen before. Within the diary and the words he had written, he had mentioned about how he had enjoyed his first flight and how he was enjoying spending time with his family. BB talked about what things he had enjoyed most and about the things that he always wanted to remember.
We went on with our evening, we went out for a meal and when we got home BB continued writing in his diary about his day.
So what did this teach me about gratitude?
I realised as I read BB's diary that he was doing small things during the day to show his appreciation to his Daddy, Sister and I for the experiences we were sharing.
He didn't complain when we had to walk a bit further than perhaps he might have liked.
He didn't complain when there weren't snacks for him to eat.
He didn't mind that he had to share a bed with someone else.
He helped us tidy up our piles of "stuff" ready for packing each day.
I realised as I read BB's diary that he was appreciating the small things. The things that money can't buy, the things that we should all enjoy and not take for granted.
He appreciated a good meal.
He appreciated a funny joke.
He appreciated a shared view.
He appreciated time to write in his diary.
He appreciated hugs and shows of affection.
Big Boy, my very clever and handsome seven year old taught me that I should slow down. I should appreciate the small stuff, I should be grateful for all the many wonderful things I have and experience on a daily basis.
And so I'm trying.