I assign my students “Weekly Writing” topics pretty regularly. They have to practice writing essays for their high-stakes testing in the spring. Last week, they had to write about 3 reasons they are thankful.
Most of the kids wrote about food, their parents, their electronic goo ga’s. I had hoped for something deeper, but remind myself they’re 12-14 years old. This may be as deep as it gets right now.
But as I grade these essays with my little checklist rubric, I try to come up with 3 of my own reasons to be thankful. Mine really aren’t that deep, either.
I’m thankful for my family. Stepmom #1, I realized today, is truly my best friend. Like a tissue, she’s soft, strong, supportive, and always there when I’m snotty. My mom, distant and difficult as our relationship is, is there in her own way. I can accept her for who she is or move on. I’ve accepted my dad and his flaws. I don’t call him on his BS, because in the grand scheme, it really doesn’t matter. We have a limited amount if time left, and my kids need it to be peaceful.
Next, I’m thankful for the family I’ve created. The monkeys and DH make me nuts at times, but when I look around, I realize I have a good thing going. Monkey #1, even though he knows more than I do ( he is 11), still looks to me for guidance in many things. Monkey #2 is my mini-me. She wants to spend time together and wants to be just like me when she grows up. (Hoping she outgrows that) DH may be selfish, immature, and spend too much time with his stupid friends, but he still thinks I’m hot, which says something (maybe that he needs new glasses) and he tries really hard to provide for the monkeys and me.
Finally, I’m thankful for my friends, both past and present. There are a few who have been in the picture 25+ years (love you like a sis, Beca) and some who have long ago painted themselves out of the picture. I have friends who live near by that I talk to a few times a month, and those who live hours away and I talk to regularly (love you like a sis, too, sunshine!) Whether or not they are still actively involved in my life, I’m grateful to those in the past and in the present. They’ve come into and left my life for a reason and helped make me who I am today.
After this, I need to add another thankful. I’m thankful to my 8th graders for completing this assignment. My kids, without meaning to, often cause me to examine my inner self. I don’t think I’d do it without them.
What are 3 reasons you’re thankful? I promise not to grade your response.
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