1. A son who offers to help me clean up the milk I so klutzily spilled and then, when I later make a point to thank him, says carelessly, "Yeah ... it was the right thing to do." Once in a while, we parents need those little road markers that say, "You're on the right path!"
2. A daughter who declares to a full house tonight, "I want to be a mom when I grow up ... and nothing but a mom. Just like YOU [jabs the air imperiously in my direction]!"
3. A morning begun by watching two faces turned toward each other on one pillow, smiling sleepily and whispering the day's opening thoughts. Yesterday I reminisced to a friend about how three-year-old Ian informed me one day that he wanted the seven-month-old Eliza to "not come out of your belly, Mom. I want her to go back." How far they've come.
4. Friends who fill our house every Thursday night -- sometimes two, sometimes ten -- with music, fellowship, appetites, and a way of drawing my mind away from its self-centered concerns and my hands toward the dish-filled sink. Basically, God in human forms.
5. The mountain of laundry awaiting folding -- it means we have clothes to wear. Holey socks and all.
6. A husband who helps me prepare for the Japan class I'm teaching at co-op in the morning, doing the grunt work I request of him when he'd rather be reading a Patrick O'Brien book.
7. Friends from said co-op who so generously stepped up last week to teach the last fifteen minutes of my class, supervise my kids, and express their care and sympathy during my family emergency last Friday. This is definitely an above-and-beyond sort of group.
8. LOST. If you'll excuse me, I need to go email my brother with a few crackpot theories on the heels of this week's season premiere.
And to make a miniature Japanese garden.
Sounds like tomorrow morning, I'll be thankful for ...