Gratefulness can be a difficult emotion to express. At least I feel that way at times. I fear that my professions of heartfelt gratitude might seem fake or hollow. After all, in our society, we use the words “thank you” when a person opens a door for another or donates a kidney to save a life. In the kidney case, “thank you” doesn’t seem like enough words.
In moments of extreme gratefulness, I feel compelled to elaborate on what a kindness truly means to me. I want to express the magnitude of my thankfulness. I want to describe the particular details of why I find value in the person who has given me a gift, whether tangible or otherwise. I want to make it clear that my “thank you” is not a passing comment.
So that is what this blog is – my profession of extreme gratefulness. And even these words will not be enough. I hope, however, that they will at least seem honest.
If you follow along with Ecocentricity on a weekly basis, you’ll know that my son, my first child, was born about three weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been rather unplugged from work, focusing instead on my Parenting 101 crash-course. No grades yet, but my teacher (a.k.a. my son) seems to like me well enough. I’ll take what I can get.
I’ve learned a lot in these few weeks. I’ve learned what true family intimacy is, and it is magical. I’ve learned that patience is easy at 3:00pm and hard at 3:00am. I’ve learned just how strong my wife is, though that part hasn’t surprised me. And I’ve learned how rapidly joy can multiply, especially when you place a newborn in his grandmother’s arms for the first time.
Moreover, I’ve been blessed beyond measure in these same few weeks. These blessings are what fill me with overflowing gratitude. They are not earned and they are not deserved. That’s what makes them so special.
And so, there is much I must say. First, to the God of creation, thank you for life. It is precious beyond measure.
To my wife, thank you for your sacrifices, which are more numerous than most realize. You have made them with grace and without hesitation.
To our son, thank you for a lifetime to come of shared joys and sorrows. Being your father is a privilege I will always cherish.
To our mothers, both by birth and marriage, thank you for the loving way you hold our son. Any success we have as parents is made possible by your devotion of time and care in these earliest of days.
To our fathers, both by birth and marriage, thank you for your example. You are the men I aspire to become, and I understand for the first time the depth of love you have for me.
To our siblings, thank you for what you will teach our son. I cannot wait to see all of the ways he learns to love life from you all.
To our extended family and friends, thank you for the prayers, the support, the guidance, the meals, the gifts, the hugs, the smiles, the congratulations, and the sheer excitement you have to simply meet our little guy. All three of us are fortunate to have you in our lives.
And finally, to the millions of people who are passionate about nature and labor tirelessly to leave a healthier planet to the generation to come, thank you. I promise to work just as hard for your children and grandchildren.