My kid just won’t say it.
She’s polite in all other circumstances. Plays well with others. Is considerate, shares, loves being with people. As selfless as a near three year old could possibly be. She will say sorry when she’s offended or done wrong, accept consequences more often than not, rather graciously.
But she WILL NOT SAY THANK YOU.
Not to to someone who’s given her a cookie or a Christmas present or told her she’s beautiful. (Which she hates, by the way and responds with, “I’m not beautiful, I’m Ellie!”).
I will openly admit that it has been much more troublesome to me because it’s embarrassing, (She really loves the gift, thank you so much for thinking of her, she’s just giving you the stink eye because it means she loves you……) and I haven’t really gone deeper than that. Honestly. Crap, parenting is so freaking hard. Mainly because it shows you what a jerk you are.
I started thinking about my own heart and if it was full of the thankfulness I expected would just magically overflow from her tiny heart. Right.
I do not say thank you.
I forget to give thanks before meals. Often because they are generally of the hurried variety- “Mama’s gotta go to work so please eat your sandwich and don’t drop it on the flo- ok I’ll get it, it’s ok it was an accident just don’t spill your mil- no big deal we can just change you right up, it’s ok we have 10 more minutes anyway….how about some chicken nuggets on the way instead???????”
When she sees my face contort with the effort it takes to restrain the anxiety that bubbles every time I sit at the computer to try and pay too many bills with not enough money, it is not thankfulness I’m modeling for her. Not thankfulness that our heat and lights are still on, that we live in a lovely, big house which I love, that there is enough ingredients to make the pancakes El loves in the cabinet and hot coffee steaming in the pot. Not thankfulness for our Father who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and since I’m his daughter, that inheritance is mine.
How often do I thank her Father for all of the things he does for us? Trudging, early, every morning to the same job for 8 years that he dislikes, but it provides shelter and food and health insurance to his family. Do I thank him for it often, in front of her? Nope. I do not. (Before this post attracts all kinds of negative attention from possible feminist readers, my husband and I both work, and both care for our little in equal proportions. He makes sure to thank me often for all I do, but I am not as good at it as he is. )
Instead, I see my own unthankful heart staring right back at me. It’s terrifying how much we look alike.
It’s time I start giving thanks- or our faces might stay this way permanently.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving THANKS to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17