Every night, before I finally get myself into bed, I wander around my darkened, quiet home shutting off lights, locking doors, closing blinds and curtains, and picking up and cleaning up a few last things. I find that this is the time of day when I am most reflective and thankful.
I am thankful that my day is done. I am (usually) at peace with our decisions and choices of the day and I’m finally a bit more relaxed now that the many items on our “to do” lists have been checked off. I soak in the rare silence of my typically noisy busy house, thankful for these few minutes to myself before bed.
I am thankful for my old home. Having bought my house from my parents I have lived here for over thirty years of my life. As I wander around my house at night I need no lights to find my way around furniture and corners. I know where every creaky board is located and I avoid them so I do not wake my children. I know how to open the old pantry door without a squeak so I can check the locks on the back door. I absently tighten the kitchen sink faucet as I walk by to be sure it doesn’t leak. My home is old and worn out but it keeps us safe and warm every night and for that I am thankful.
I often stand alone in my kitchen, putting my phone on its charger for the night, and think about the nights my mother would stand in the very same spot waiting for me to creep around the corner, home late after a night out…and I smile. I could never thank her enough for her quiet but firm parenting style. She raised me well and I can only hope I am doing the same with my daughters.
I wander upstairs and check on each of my sleeping girls. I spend a minute or so in each bedroom checking the locks on their windows, picking up toys and clothes from the floor to be sure they have a clear path to the bathroom or to my room, and pulling up their blankets to be sure each is warm and cozy in sleep. I dip my head to each peaceful face and I breathe in their unique scents. And I am thankful. I am thankful for their health and I am thankful for the life I am able to give them. I am at peace as I end my day kissing each of their sweet cheeks.
Finally I enter my own room. I have a skylight in my bedroom and I usually take a last look at the night sky. On rainy nights, I’m thankful for the solid roof over the heads of my family and for the sound of the rain on the skylight that will lull me to sleep. I lay next to my often sleeping husband and I am thankful. He makes me happy—even in his sleep—keeping me warm and comforted throughout the night. I may relish those last few minutes of every day that I take for myself but I am forever thankful to finally fall asleep with him by my side.
My days can be difficult. I am busy and juggle many responsibilities. There are days filled with anger, bad choices, and unfortunate news. People can be unkind, sickness can make us miserable, and events will not go as planned. I try to end my days, however, with some peace. And for that, I am thankful.