Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 9

Today I am thankful for another long-time friend, Dana Siegal. I first met Dana when I performed in a show she was directing. That show led to another show, and another, and then a cabaret troupe, and somewhere along the way, a friendship. And a few years later, she found herself needing a roommate just as I was looking to move to the area where she lived. Despite the fact we were both well past college age, it was like being back in college, living with your girlfriends, gossiping and giggling late at night, giving each other advice on friends and work and dating and anything else that was going on in our lives. We had many late-night conversations on love, religion, friendship, family, and fashion in the doorway to one or the other of our bedrooms. Over the course of that year, we both fell in love and ended up getting engaged within 24 hours of each other. I sang as part of her proposal, and she videotaped mine. We were married within 6 months of each other. I sang at her wedding, and she was my matron of honor.

We don't see each other as often as we used to, and we don't talk as often as we used to. She is busy with work and theater, and I am busy with my children. But our friendship is as deep as ever. I know I could go to her for advice any time and she would make time for me. And she knows she is welcome to come to me for a chat any time. A friendship forged the way ours was doesn't need the constant contact that some friendships do to stay alive. It is always there as an undercurrent, like the backdrop of a theater scene. You aren't consciously aware of it, but it is always present, coloring everything around it, making it richer and sweeter. I am thankful that she is, and always will be, part of my life.

The three things I am thankful for today are things that I realize I am thankful for because they are - or recently were - currently missing from my life. The first is a baby monitor. Our baby monitor is currently not working, and it's making me realize how much I rely on it every day. With it, I can easily play in the basement with my son (who is often very LOUD) while my daughter sleeps upstairs, and I don't worry about missing a single quiet peep. The second thing I am thankful for is a good night's sleep. These days, some nights I'm woken three or four times by a hungry baby who doesn't want to go back to sleep after she eats, and I end up getting only 3 or 4 hours of sleep over the course of the whole night. But every once in a while she has a night when she sleeps for 5 or 6 hours straight and I get the same long, uninterrupted stretch of sleep. But those bad nights serve to remind me of how thankful I am for those good nights when I wake up refreshed and revived. And the third "thing" I'm thankful for is my mom. She passed away before my daughter was born, but my daughter will still experience her influence, because of my mom's influence on me as a parent. I am thankful that my mother was such a good role model as a parent. She was loving and tough and devoted, and she tried her best but never claimed to know it all. Because of her, I can be an imperfect parent and know that my kids will still turn out OK.

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