I wonder if it would be cheating to list my family one by one. Maybe, but what are they going to do, revoke my thanking privileges? Where to start, oldest, youngest, the one making the most noise right now? I think I'll start with my oldest daughter, E.
I am thankful for E.
I remember when E was about five months old a friend asked me how being a mother was. I answered that it was so much better than anything I'd imagined, so much easier than I was expecting. She was beautiful, brilliant and a delight to be around. I think I raved for a good ten minutes which in retrospect was certainly bad form, but I'd fallen in love, so deeply in love that all manners had been thrown to the wind. And of course I hadn't hit potty training or learning how to do fractions or hormones or learning to drive or teenage rebellion or her completely backwards sleep schedule yet, all of which confirmed that parenting was not easy-peasy.
Nevertheless, my relationship with E continues to be one of the biggest blessings of my life. She's brilliant and resourceful. We geek out on Doctor Who together. We laugh at the same things. We enjoy similar books. She helped me raise and slaughter the meat chickens (and promptly became vegan). In consequence, she's voted most likely to help me through a horrible project without whining. If I had to be stuck on a desert island with someone, she would be in my top five picks.
She ran off to UCBerkeley this summer. Letting her be her own grownup person has been so much harder than I was expecting, but so much more rewarding. Last night I went out to dinner with her and just stared at her beauty and absorbed her light, and I realized that as deeply as I loved her as a baby, I love her more now, so much so that sometimes I throw manners to wind and write a whole blog post about her.