This Wednesday I give you a short and incomplete list of things for which I am grateful:
I am thankful that we found a good apartment within a week after being told that our sublease would not be renewed (short story: our piano + downstairs neighbor on co-op board who has complained about noise from neighbors in all directions). Max now has a bigger room (“What do I do with all this space?” he says). Our new place is partially above a commercial space and we can play piano all night if we want to.
I am thankful my hair falls straight and will not tell on me if I forget to brush it in the morning, that I can still fit into my pants, and that I am still being carded at the bar.
I am thankful for roasted marshmallows, brown skin a whisper of crisp over a pillow of sweet. I am thankful for dim sum weekends with my boyfriend, the lazy wait for a table never feels too long. I love roaming the city with him for the next best meal. I am thankful for fresh sea urchin, that tongue of orange that melts in my mouth like the ocean. I am thankful for hot cider on cold days and hot chocolate thick as syrup.
I am thankful my ex-husband is a good man.
I am thankful my son is past toddlerhood, so I can sleep at night. I am thankful my son is not yet a teenager, so I can sleep at night. He is so smart and so sweet. He actually appreciates chores because he thinks of them as lessons in survival for adulthood. I am thankful that this 10-year-old boy allows me to hug him in public. His embrace has yet to turn into the “pity hug” that my friend has warned me happens when children hit double digits. I still get a fierce good-night squeeze at the end of a long day. Even better, he peppers the week with spontaneous, declarative “I love you’s,” which still outnumber the “you’re embarrassing me’s.” I am thankful for my son.
I am thankful that I get to do what I love, which is making pictures. I live in NYC, where artists are piled up on top of each other. The asphalt is cracking under the weight of so much talent and creativity, and I get to be a part of it. I love celebrating my friends when they launch a show. We marvel at each other’s brilliance and juice up on each other’s energy. I am in NYC. Even the food is brilliant.
I am thankful for those I love, who catch me when I fall. I am thankful when I can return the favor.
Finally I have to include a link to this beautiful, personal, and wise essay by Judy Schwartz Haley, “When Gratitude Is Difficult.”
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!