I find joy in Sam's grubby little hand prints across all the walls. They're all at the same height, a perfect marker of a milestone in his life, a size that he will never be again. They are not just a cleaning nuisance to get rid of.
I am thankful for the mess Sam makes when he eats, because one day, he will be adept at using utensils and eating neatly. And when that day comes, he might not want to eat with us. But right now, he loves to be with us, and I love it too, even if my carpet, my table, and my son are all covered in dark red, berry-flavoured applesauce.
I am glad that my son cries for me and wants me when he falls. Even when it's a little thing that doesn't warrant THAT many tears, I know it's because he loves me, and my arms comfort him. I never want to keep that from him, because one day, he won't come for a cuddle from Mom when he wipes out on his mountain bike.
I LOVE that Sam wants to copy every move I make. Whether it's cleaning, or weeding, or dancing to a song, he wants to be like me. One day, it won't be cool to "play Mommy". So I try to remember that when he's following me around, wanting everything I have. He wants to help me, and be like me. I'm going to enjoy that about him as long as I can.
I am thankful for Sam's crying, because it's his way of telling me something. He knows that he can call on me, and I will help him the best I can. He will get to an age where he won't cry to me, and he'll find other ways to meet his needs, which is normal and healthy. But right now, he is secure in the fact that I will care for him. That is a good thing.
And I even find joy in dirty diapers, because it's a sign that I have an amazing little son. It's a sign that God gave me a perfect gift that I am to take care of. It's a sign that I carried a baby to full term (almost), that I am around to care for him, and that he graces this household with his presence (and sometimes, his smell!).
I have a lot to be thankful for, and not just the "obvious" things.