A Letter of Gratitude to my Son

Feeling gratitude can improve health and happiness; expressing gratitude also strengthens relationships. ... This exercise encourages you to express gratitude in a thoughtful, deliberate way by writing—and, ideally, delivering—a letter of gratitude to a person you have never properly thanked.

I am grateful for many things in my life; from having Granny and Grandpa as parents and for growing up on a farm. This taught me about the true values in life and that if you work hard, you are always rewarded. You only get as much out of life as you put into it. We didn’t have much money growing up but we worked hard and we were happy. I am very grateful that I learnt to grow plants and crops and ride horses and shear sheep and that I spent a lot of my childhood outside learning important life long skills. I am grateful that I learnt to cook at a young age and I am grateful that Granny and Grandpa sent me off to Switzerland when I was 10 years old to learn to speak French! I am grateful for Lucy Nicholls (Colwell) who is my oldest friend and who has never judged me but always accepted me for who I am. I am grateful that Granny and Grandpa supported me when I wanted to travel to Africa and India and Australia and Indonesia. I am grateful that Granny and Grandpa pushed me to have a good education, get good grades and go to University, as that led me to live in Belgium and then Paris where I met Dad. I am always, always gratefully for meeting Dad and marrying him - as with him I am a complete unit. He supports me in everything I do and is my soul mate.

I am grateful that we made a rash decision one day in April 2009 to move to New York for Dad’s job and I am grateful for the wonderful friends we have in Rye who support our family and the Rye Schools and the access we have to help you. Living away from our close family can be hard but we have all learnt to keep positive and true friends in our close support group. Dad has worked hard to be successful at his job and keep us in New York.

I was so grateful the day that you were born, to have a little brother for Alice who was healthy and born quickly and naturally. You were the sweetest most smiling baby - always happy! I remember the day you finally started talking, unlike most children you didn’t start by saying sounds and then simple words but the day you started talking you spoke in full paragraphs in two languages! I am grateful for that special mother-son bond I have always had with you and our special cuddles.

I am grateful for your sense of humor and all the times you have made me laugh. I love having you as my sidekick and I love all the times you have helped - cooking, cleaning, shopping, gardening… You are always so willing and such good company. I love knowing that if I am sick, I know that you can care for me, cook for me and light me a roaring fire.

I am grateful for the way you always talk to strangers when we travel and we end up making friends with them! I am grateful that you always make everyone smile with your humor and exuberance.

I am grateful for all the times that you let me kiss you in your neck until we both end up in fits of giggles!

I am also grateful for this journey that we have been on with you since moving to America in 2009. I am grateful for all that daddy and I have learnt about being better parents and better people - about having a ‘heart at peace’. I am grateful that, through you, I now think about gratitude every day. I now know that the benefits of practicing gratitude are endless and that by regularly practicing gratitude, by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things that I am thankful for, I can experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better and express more compassion and kindness. I have learnt through my journey with you that when I am stuck in difficult moment and when obstacles are blaring and fears are looming - that this is in fact a perfect time to practice being grateful. Not grateful for what has me stuck, but appreciating what doesn’t. Gratitude helps me see my situation in a way that lessens panic and opens up my thinking to new solutions. This journey that we are on as a family, has helped me personally in so many ways.

I am grateful that you are as unique as you are, that you have such a big heart and smile. I am grateful that you stand up for what you believe in. As we have often said, “no-one could ever replace you!”

I love you so very much and am so proud of all you have achieved and can’t wait to see everything that you will conquer in your life ahead of you. I am particularly eager to see the huge leaps that you will take when you fully learn to reflect on and empathize with the contents of your own mind and every one else’s mind. I truly think that once you have mastered this, you will be able to do achieve anything you want.

love you so so much,

Mama xoxo

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