This week in their gymnastics classes the both Leighton and Caedmon had the opportunity to write on a leaf one thing that they were thankful for. All the leaves are then hung up on a tree on the wall. It is neat to stand and read what all the kids have written, everything from sunshine, to hot dogs and pizza, to clouds, to certain people, etc. Both Leighton and Caedmon, unprompted by each other or anyone else chose to write “family” as the thing that they were thankful for.

It really struck me as I searched the tree and found both their leaves and what they had written. Their little lives and the family that they knew just 8 weeks ago looks a whole lot different now. There is a little someone getting into their Legos, following them everywhere, taking up time and attention that use to be theirs. Some of the food we serve and keep on hand is different as we have all learned to get use to the smell of kimchi and anchovies at 6:45AM for Edric’s breakfast each morning. And yet they are thankful for this family that we now have.

Caedmon's Leaf
Caedmon’s Leaf
And Leighton's Leaf
And Leighton’s Leaf

We don’t look like a “traditional” family in any sense of the word. For one, I work and Clint stays home. We’ve chosen to homeschool to give us more time as a family. Those two things alone make people think we are a little whacky. We have now added a whole new layer and dimension to our family with Edric with a new culture and traditions and foods. We’ll spend a week this summer at Korea camp, and likely next fall spend our Saturday mornings at Korea school. And yet we are still a family and one to be thankful for.

The laundry hasn’t just increased, it’s exponentially multiplied. The amount of dirt/sand/leaves/rocks/whatever that I sweep up from my floor is enough to plant a field of wheat in every night. The messes have gotten huge. And the exhaustion is real and very present and somedays I wonder how it can only be 2PM.

But the laughter has increased. And the cuteness abounds. And there are smiles and victories on all fronts each day for each person however small.

Don’t get me wrong, there are tears and fights and bad attitudes as well. And sometimes over the oddest things “mommy, he growled at me”. Seriously? I didn’t know that that was an offence, especially when I witness the “growling” and it is not even really worth mentioning let alone crying about. Oh and by the way, the more upset one becomes about said growling, the more the growler will growl. Because that’s what brothers do

But with each of those comes hugs. And times of comfort. And times of correction which we all need.

And when I wonder if I can go on another minute or should I just hide and give up and eat chocolate in the closet for the rest of the day I remember that being a family isn’t about walks in the park or meadows of flowers but living out the good/bad/ugly and all the inbetweens day in and day out. Often it’s not pretty and it takes a lot of sweat/blood/guts and hard work. And we mess it all up often.

But this family? So thankful and so in love with it all.