A lot of people have been posting their lists of things they are grateful for on their blogs or on Facebook. I'm a big believer in gratitude but also a little behind on everything so I'm just now getting started, at the beginning of Thanksgiving week.
As I was pondering my list, I realized that the number one spot on my list has to be my really unique and remarkable parents. Some of you are really surprised that I didn't list C first (sorry sweetie!) or Mowgli and Boo or something related to God but the truth is that I wouldn't have the relationship I have with C if my parents hadn't loved me so well (plus, I essentially married my mom but that's another story . . .). I wouldn't have known how to parent Boo and Mowgli if my parents hadn't parented me so wisely. And my parents were the ones who first introduced me to God and to the Church I love and represented both so well, so there's that.
My parents really weren't like anyone else's parents, which was something I both appreciated and complained about as a kid. They listened to me talk for as long as I needed to talk. They asked a lot of questions and delivered only a few lectures. They cared what I thought and taught me to care about what they thought. They required respect but were never heavy-handed about it, and left me with a very healthy respect for authority flavored with only a hint of skepticism. They taught me to think and never shamed me for my feelings. More than anything, they loved me so, so well and inoculated me thoroughly against many forms of shame.
So, this Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for my parents, who are also wonderfully flawed and made it okay for me to be.