These are a few of my favorite things:
A) Children, mine and others'.
They are weird and funny, sweet and opinionated small people.
I like that I get to watch them grow and help shepherd them along the path to adulthood.
I like seeing my toddler pick up my phone and say to me, "No sir. I call China."
I like being privy to sights like Jack fleeing when Grandpa fires up a chainsaw to trim the bottom of the fresh Christmas tree, and then turning around and running back with a smile plastered to his face to watch the excitement.
I like tucking them into flannel owl blankets.
I like baking them bran applesauce muffins and brownies.
I like watching from the kitchen window as they bounce like popcorn kernels on the trampoline and pump their legs higher on the swings and let the tetherball fly in wild arcs.
I like combing their thick damp hair after a bath, and putting them in their jammies.
I like when we are all in the same room together, or in the car together. All together.
B) Friends, close by and far away.
One of the beauties of being a grownup is being a central player in an ever-growing circle of people you love. Friends aren't limited to school chums and neighbor kids and cousins. Proximity is no longer the main requirement for friendship, as it might have been in childhood.
I love my dear, dear friends from all the phases of my life: my youth, college, graduate school, the neighborhood where we bought our first home, our time in Early Intervention, our current neighborhood. They are people who knew me when I was young and stupid, and those who met me when I was older and still kinda dumb.
True friends are a gift, and I have been given so many. On a related note, I'm also grateful for Instagram. And blogs. And FB. And the invention of the text message.
C) The Hubs
Because we are a team, like Katniss and Peeta, but without the conflicted parts to the love story. And also, I am not taller than Dutch. And we are not good at archery and cake decorating, respectively.
I'm grateful for someone who gets me.