our stroller got stolen a few days ago. from just outside our door. the stroller that carried the kids to the river beach every time we went; the stroller that carried large amounts of groceries along with our children to and from the neighbourhood amenities; the stroller that was pretty much our car. that stroller. was. suddenly. gone, from just outside our front door.
the wife found out that a member from a neighbouring co-op across the street saw the whole thing happen at 3am and tried to interfere - to no avail, obviously. apparently the thief is a homeless transient who regularly stalks the neighbourhood in search of recyclables. perhaps there was quite a haul that night and he found the perfect solution to cashing in on more than his arms could carry. or perhaps he'd been planning the theft for some time.
whatever the thief's choices - and ours - that led to our stroller's disappearance (which, we have left unlocked outside our door for well over a year), i am choosing to practice gratitude.
in the grand scheme of life, if this is the worst thing that happens to our little family in this neighbourhood, i am grateful.
stroller theft is hardly harrowing. i have had a little experience of what harrowing means to me and i have been angry for a long time.
today i find myself exactly where i want to be. rather impossibly, to be honest. my life was very different before children - full of busyness and indulgence, but also painful and just a little empty in a lot of ways.
i still have to pinch myself to believe that i have lived in vancouver for over 6 years (a dream the wife and i dreamed in our high school years). i have been a mother for more than four years (counting pregnancy). i get to be with the love of my life (without the angst or guilt that once upon a time felt like shackles).
i can only repay the soul of the universe with gratitude and kindness: especially when the days aren't perfect, in times of need and greed, in moments of anger, pride, or sadness.
i actively choose to practice gratitude as a daily discipline.
i have a lot to be thankful for.
including friends and family both near and far, many of whom are the most thoughtful, generous, and understanding people i know. i'm rarely in the frame of mind to pick up the phone, write a heartfelt email, or throw a dinner party, what with the fullness of our days, but i am grateful for knowing that when we do come together, it will be as if we were continuing a conversation, picking up the discourse of getting to know each other, just where we left off.
i am eternally grateful for people who are kind to my children: the wonderful lady who watches them each day; the folks who wave back, return their 'hello,' or entertain them on the bus. everyone who bothers to take the time to understand them when they are being difficult. i'm their mother, and they're cute kids, but it's not always easy for me to be kind while i'm disciplining.
it's also international coming out day, and so i am also very thankful for all the strangers we end up coming out to because they happen to interact with our children. by and large the reactions we get are positive, ranging from "you're so lucky to have two mommies" and thoughtful silence. such exchanges certainly set the stage for when my babes will have to come out to their own set of friends and strangers about their unique family.
we celebrated canadian thanksgiving (or "nice-giving" as my son charmingly referred to it a few times) just this past weekend. i have hosted thanksgiving dinner in years past, celebrating the holiday with friends and family with as big a feast as we can make and ending the night groaning with full stomachs. this year, it was just the four of us and my godson, with a humble menu inspired by what was in the fridge, shopping only for the stuff we needed fresh.
i didn't facilitate the traditional round table exercise in which we each share something we were grateful for. my toddlers aren't able to articulate much more than their desires at the moment. but the collective gratitude around the table was everywhere evident.
to my canadian family and friends, a belated happy thanksgiving to you. may your gratitudes always be plentiful.
to my fellow queers (good for you, you're queer!) and our allies, happy coming out day!