* I've had some long, funny, provocative conversations with my children lately. These two teenagers make me happy, very happy. I love the fact that they are willing to talk to me about anything - and by "anything," I mean "everything." Politics, sexual slavery, tennis racket stringing, hymn singing, friendship, ESPN, Project Runway, housesitting, dogsitting, babysitting, cooking - just to name a few of our recent topics.
* I spent several hours today with a dear friend who had her first child last Friday. I sat with him sleeping in my arms for nearly three hours this afternoon. Those long fingers. That tiny mouth. His legs folded up between his tummy and mine. Tiny. Beauty. Peace. Hope and a future.
* I am grateful that this election hoopla will soon be behind us. Debates. Commercials. Insults. Finger-pointing. Fear-mongering. Deceit. Accusations. Smugness. Sarcasm. It's exhausting. It's almost over.
* My neighbor's dog died this week. Midnight was a fixture on the block, barking his big, black lab bark at everybody who walked past, eager for and always ready to receive a good scratch behind his ears. I'm not grateful that Midnight is gone; in fact, I cried when I found out he had passed away. But I am glad I knew him for the past eight or nine years. I'm glad he liked me as much as he did.
I am grateful for the reminders that his death has provided: love your dog, love your spouse, love your children, love your friends, love your life - and love it all wildly. Wag more, bark less. Eat everything with gratitude and gusto. When something makes you uncomfortable, wet, or cold, shake it off. When you are tired, lay down and rest. When someone playful shows up, get up and play. When you want something, ask for it, ask loudly. If the answer is no, ask again the next time you see that person. Maybe they will say "yes" sometime. Forgive, forget, and wag your rear end some more.