There are the obvious big things: that my husband and my children are all happy and healthy, that we have a warm house and a working vehicle, that Nick has a job, for the precious gifts of new life given to us.
But there are so many little things that have happened, especially in the last few months of the year. And those are the things that I am specifically grateful for.
There are so many people in our family and at our church who have gathered around and given much needed help. From organizing babysitters when I couldn't make phone calls, to washing dishes and doing laundry. Especially just the people who came and absorbed the kids energy so that I could rest. Then there are the people who just talked to me, provided adult conversation in the midst of the chaos of the child-like thought process. And all of the people who have promised their help for when the twins are born. Finally, all of the people, known and unknown, who have given their support in love, prayers, and kind words.
I would not have made it this far without each and every one of those generous people.
I am especially grateful for our midwife. She is wonderful, knowledgeable, and very competant in the art of deliverine babies; she has delivered three of ours. This time, with twins, she was not satisfied with the level of care that she (or even the local hospital) could provide compared to what I need. She had the wisdom and humility to recommend us to the highest level of medical care within about a hundered miles. (not that there are any great risks with either of the boys, but just the fact of twins and my health being less than par)
Most of all, I am grateful for the little things that my husband has always done and continues to do. From the very first time I met him he has always tried to bring me out of myself, to push me beyond my comfort zones, asked for my honest opinions and not critizised me for them, and helped me to become a better person. He is always patient with me, and always respects my thoughts and ideas. He knows what I need and don't need before I do, and does his best to provide or protect me. He challanges me, teaches me, and has done more than any teacher I have ever had.
And all of that is before I consider anything that he does for the kids; out of all that he does, and all of the limitations that he has to work through, the biggest thing is that he cares. He may not be able to buy them all that he wants, he drives himself into depression thinking about all of the time he cannot spend with them. But he cares about them, their thoughts and ideas, their interests and concerns, just the same way he cares for me. It is wonderful to see that, inspite of all that circumstances prevent him from doing, he does everything that he can with them and for them.
This is not exactly where I wanted to go with this article. When I loaded the picture I had some idea of writing about the twins, and how their personalitites are already as different as their noses; and thoughts about how to introduce them into our fantasy saga. But it is good to make myself concentrate and actually think about the individual things that I have been blessed with during the past year. I guess that is Nick's influence working on me.