Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Gratitude Challenge: Day 4

It's Day 4 of the Gratitude Challenge and my task for today is to give thanks for something negative in my life. It's easy to be thankful for the positive things in our lives - the things that bring smiles to our faces. But it's much more challenging to be grateful for the contrary, or to spin a bad thing into a good thing. When I'm in the throes of perdition, I often misplace my rose-colored glasses.

I must admit that this challenge was particularly hard because, at this time in my life, there are many more positive things that come to mind than negative. I feel very fortunate, and am thankful for that in itself. But I do have a few superficial issues I can pick from in order to complete this activity.

One of my petty complaints is that my soon-to-be 14-month old is still not sleeping through the night. He wakes up once or twice overnight, screaming to nurse (yes, I'm still breastfeeding!). I've tried to Ferberize with little success. Perhaps its because I have no backbone but I can't stand to hear him wail and not respond. It feels...heartless. So, he often winds up in bed with the hubby and I for at least a portion of the night. It's not how I imagined our sleep situation would be but it is what it is. I'm as exhausted and frustrated as the mother of a newborn, feeling as if we've plateaued.

But if I step back and take a deep breath, I am thankful for this. When my son wakes me from a peaceful sleep, I am comforted knowing he is alive. I am reminded of the precious gift of parenthood that has been bestowed unto me. Having suffered through infertility, I've met dozens of women who are unable to get pregnant or have children of their own. They would give anything to have a baby keep them up all night long. It wasn't too long ago I felt the same way.

So, when my son wakes up in a few hours to be fed, I will wear a smile on my face as I retrieve him. Because he is my gift from God. My blessing. And I am forever grateful for his presence in my life. Even as he screams at 3 a.m.


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