I'm Thankful for My Children - But Not the Way You Might Think

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Mercer Henry Grawemeyer Jordan, 20 months

Thanksgiving is such an odd holiday. It is the only time of year when we're generally asked to pause and take stock of what matters to us most. Generally, what matters most is family, friends, a roof over our heads and food to eat. This year we're thankful if we can pay our mortgages or have anything left in our 401(k)s--many of us are thankful to have the jobs we normally complain about.

This year, I am thankful for all those things, but I am also thankful for my children. I am thankful that I was lucky enough to have them. They mean everything in the world to me--more than the world, in fact. But lately, I am thankful for them in an entirely different way than out of unconditional love. When I had my son, it forced us to get a car. This sounds silly but living in New York City I took (and still do take) mass transportation everywhere, or I walked. It was easy enough day to day, but when we had big errands to run or wanted to travel to see our folks, it became a real problem. Thanks to my son, we bought a car. Ah, the American Dream, you say--and yes, this is true, but we got a really safe car at a great price that gets pretty good mileage. And, now my life is just easier, plain and simple. It makes errands that took all day take an hour. Also, I get to see my family and friends who live out of state a lot more often--I am truly thankful for that.

When I became pregnant with my daughter, it became clear that our little one-bedroom rental condo was no longer going to cut it. We'd toyed around forever with buying a home, but were reluctant to commit due to the sizable down payments required for very expensive NYC real estate. I've always said that if you can own in New York City, you can own anywhere, and treated owning an apartment here like the Holy Grail. Well, if it weren't for my daughter, I would never have seriously started looking for my own home. With her impending birth, we had no choice but to move. Rent was just as expensive and we'd still have to move again when we figured out where to buy, so we looked around basically the whole time I was pregnant and finally bought a home. It's a wonderful apartment in a great building in a truly stellar neighborhood filled with awesome people. And I am ever so thankful for that!

In other words, I am thankful that I am an adult. And my kids helped me become that!

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.