Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 21

Today I am thankful for my friend, Suzanne Herman. Suzanne has been a friend for the past 20 years. I still recall her first day at Gordon College, when a group of friends went out to Pizza Hut and I realized what a kindred soul she was. There are a group of girls who all lived on the same dorm floor that year (well, one of us was an honorary floormate!) who have all stayed friends and stayed in touch through the years. Suzanne is another woman who, like my cousin Carol, has become a mother that I aim to emulate.

Suzanne is the mom of three delightful young ladies, an older girl and younger twin girls. I didn’t realize how impressive her parenting skills (and nerves) were until I had children of my own. I can’t imagine managing newborn twins; I certainly can’t imagine doing it with a toddler as well. But she manages every crisis with grace and humor. She tells the story of going to the ER with a child who had somehow gotten a Polly Pocket phone wedged up her nose (note to self: do NOT let Katie get interested in Polly Pocket stuff). When she tells the story, she laughs, but I have no doubt it wasn’t that funny at the time. I want to be the mom who can laugh at this kind of emergency after the fact. I am thankful that I can look at Suzanne and know that even in the face of emergencies, laughter can be not far behind.

I am thankful that I have friends like her that I can go to for wise advice and assurance that “this too shall pass”. I am thankful that I can look at her kids and realize that even with the most careful parenting, crises will happen and everyone will come out OK. I am thankful that she shows me that laughter is essential to raising children without losing your mind. And I am thankful for her relationship with her husband, both as co-parents and as husband and wife. I am thankful that I can see both his strictness with and his blatant adoration of his three beautiful girls, two traits that are so mirrored in my own husband. I am thankful that he reminds me that the two can go hand in hand, and that seeing that helps me see my own husband’s skillful parenting in the balance of sternness and love.

Ryan with Greta, Bridget, and Holly during their visit to Boston last year. The girls are well on their way to becoming the world’s best babysitters, not surprisingly.

The three things I am thankful for today are a well-staffed nursery at church, the beauty of an afternoon nap, and the joy of visits with extended family.

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