It’s November and the season to give thanks. I’m a mom and I’m thankful for so many things, even what some would consider a curse rather than a blessing. The daily grind can be tough but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thank you, dirty diapers.
Yes, stinky, soaked and enormous, leave-the-church-pew-because-it’s-turning-heads, dirty diapers. I have a baby and he’s only going to be little for so long. For now, he’s my sweet, smiling infant who needs me to care for all his basic needs. He’ll never remember but I always make sure he is clean and dry. This is one way I show my love.

It’s never a convenient time. I scoop him up and he fights me. He wants to keep playing. He was right in the middle of fun! I lay him on the changing table and it’s our time now. I look him in the eyes and talk to him. I tell him about the day to distract and calm him. We imitate animal noises. We laugh. Sometimes it’s a wrestle to put his clothes back on. But it’s an intimate pause in the day for just the two of us. I hold him and kiss him before sending him back off to whatever he was doing.

I know this baby time is expiring. Someday he will be trained and I’ll never ever change him again. So I’m thankful to do it now because it means he’s still my little baby.

Thank you, fever.
I would never ever wish for a fever. In fact, if I could be sick for him I would. I hate to see him weak and miserable. But every cold and virus he gets now makes him stronger and more resilient for the next time. Every fever he gets now is maybe one less he’ll get later. His immunity is building.

Being sick is a good lesson. He learns to carry on even when he doesn’t feel great. He learns to stop and take care of himself, too. Rest when you need it. Build strength and come back stronger. It’s OK to be make time to heal. You can’t cherish being healthy unless you’ve been sick before.

Sickness will come like a thief in the night. It ruins plans and holidays. A fever reminds us not to take the ordinary, regular day for granted. So I’m thankful for fevers because more often than not, they’re gone as quickly as they come.

Thank you, dirty pile of dinner dishes.
There’s an overflowing stack of pots, dishes, bowls, and glasses waiting in my kitchen sink and they aren’t going to clean themselves. Knives hazardously jut out from glasses and between plates and at any minute the unstable pile could crash down. It’s a precarious situation.

But I love it because it means my children are fed and we had dinner together tonight. Those dishes are the evidence of our family time. It’s time to share about our days and ask each other questions. We are a close family because we eat together. It’s a daily routine I cherish. One day my kids will move out or may live far away and I will miss our dinners. These soiled dishes are fine with me because it’s means I fed my kids and more importantly they were right here with me.

Christi Terjesen

Christi Terjesen is the mother of three lively boys in New York. She keeps her sanity through daily walks, expensive wine, and good books. Check out her blog, Mental Stimulation for Moms at, and her playground blog,