It is November, the month you were born, and the first holiday we celebrated together - Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving always falls on the fourth Thursday of the month. Our book is My Attitude of Gratitude by Melissa Winn and Zorana Rafailovic. It begins with a little boy who’s upset because his parents forget to buy him a new ball. He cries to his grandmother that nothing good ever happens to him. His grandmother holds him close, gives him a kiss, and says she wants to try a little test. She gives him a jar and says to fill it with little notes about everything he is grateful for. She calls it a Gratitude Jar. Since Thanksgiving is the holiday when we give thanks for everything we are grateful for, the little boy decorates his jar as a turkey. That’s what we eat on Thanksgiving. Every night he finds that he writes something down, like when he went to the circus and saw a clown for the first time.
You see Elena, he is grateful for the things that show their magic. Your Mommy is extremely grateful for the magic of the beautiful, majestic ocean. And she knows you appreciate things like this too. Like how you always ask Mommy to show you a flower, or how you giggle when Mommy puts you up in the arms of a great tree. You and I are both thankful to mother earth for her gifts.
The boy says he is grateful for his warm home, his little sister, and his brother for teaching him about the soccer player he most admires. He’s grateful for his Dad who works so hard. He is his hero and role model. Your Daddy is just like his Daddy, he is your hero and role model. A hero is someone you look up to and admire for their great qualities. Daddy is your Mommy’s hero too. Heroes can also be famous people. Like Dr. Martin Luther King and Golda Meir who are some of your Mommy’s heroes. A role model is someone you try to be like and follow in their footsteps.
Then he says he is thankful for his Mom for loving him even when he’s wrong. He knows a mother has to be very strong. Your Mommy hopes that is how you feel about me because there is no doubt I love you even when you are wrong. You could be wrong one thousand times over and I would still love you. I know that everything that comes from you comes from a source of kindness and goodness, my definition of beauty. Mommy can’t help it, she loves every big and little thing about you from your fingers and toes to that gorgeous heart and soul of yours. Your little face is the most exquisite thing I’ve ever seen.
The boy realizes he doesn’t need a new ball or toy, the biggest treasure is to be his parents' little boy. He is happiest when he sees the glow in their eyes and he just wants to tell his whole family, I love all you guys. That is the essence of Thanksgiving. Feeling grateful for your family because they are the people you love most in the world. Yes, on Thanksgiving, you acknowledge the love you feel deep in your heart. You are the reason I have a glow in my eyes. To celebrate this love for each other, every family in America sits down and has an amazing meal with the same awesome foods. There is a huge turkey, and mash potatoes, yams, stuffing, cranberry sauce, creamed spinach, and Mommy’s favorite, pumpkin pie! Everything is just so delicious.
Mommy will always feel especially grateful on Thanksgiving because you came to me the week before. That is when I had reason to be the most grateful in my entire life. Happy Thanksgiving, Elena. I love you!
Mommy and Daddy