On a recent evening commute, a woman boarded the bus and rushed towards me. Rather than sit, she seemed to fall into the empty seat beside mine, a mound of heavy coat, thick scarf, and several bags. She wedged a bag between her feet and dug through her purse producing a pen and ragged notepad. Flipping frantically through its frayed pages, she peered at me over glasses perched on the tip of her nose.
“I have to make a list of things I’m thankful for.” she said with irritation.
I didn’t ask why, but glanced at her notepad. She was grateful for some important things, with “health” and “job” written so far on her list. She saw me looking.
“I need ideas. What are you thankful for?” She sounded aggravated.
I thought back to when my daughter was small. I told the woman how my daughter’s eyes lit up when we played along a creek in the woods out back. She’d jump with excitement at every rabbit we saw, frog we found, or log we turned over to inspect. As she grew older she learned to identify birds, ask questions about trees, and acquire an honest love of nature. Now as a college freshman down in Florida she sends pictures of giant leaves on plants around campus, marvels at the occasional alligator encounter, and texts pictures of beautiful sunsets over the water. Time has seen that tiny girl grow into an intelligent, inquisitive, beautiful young lady who cares about all that goes on in the world. For those qualities and so many more, I just love her. I was smiling to myself when I realized the woman beside me was staring. I turned to look at her.
“I asked what you are thankful for.” She pursed her lips. “I don’t think you were listening.”
I thought back to when my son was small. I told the woman beside me how he and I pretended to be characters from his favorite cartoons. We used funny accents, acted silly, and laughed. As he grew older he became quite the comedian and learned the humor in gentle sarcasm while sensing naturally what others found funny. Now as a senior in high school he continues to charm. He’s quite the singer and having learned the guitar is a one-man show playing and singing his originals. Time has seen that little boy grow into a sensitive, talented, handsome young man who respects the feelings of others. For those qualities and so many more, I just love him. I was smiling to myself when I realized the woman beside me was staring again. I turned to look at her.
“I asked what you are thankful for.” Her shallow smile seemed condescending. “I don’t think you were listening.”
I went on to tell her that both of my children laugh because I still think of them as seven and eight. I’ve watched them grow into fine young adults who are kind, helpful to others, and appreciate family and friends. They tackle responsibilities with a smile and I’m happy to see what they’ve become and excited to see where they’ll go. I look at them and can’t imagine who could ask for more.
The bus lurched to a stop and the woman beside me gathered her things. Cramming the worn notepad into her purse she shook her head disapprovingly when she stood.
“I asked what you are thankful for.” She hurried away.
“I don’t think you were listening.” I said.
Stuart M. Perkins
If you’d like to see and hear my “little boy” sing and work some magic on his guitar, PLEASE check out the link below? (He’d be thrilled to have a follow!) https://vine.co/u/985473451186155520
251 responses to “Thanks x Two”
Great ending. Your daughter and son do inspire gratitude and love. My children and grandchildren are the most precious things in my life.
Thankful that you wrote this! Loved it!
I thank you for that!
Please check the link..i have nominated you for an award 🙂
Wow. Just speechless. being thankful always helps. Most often we tend to forget the beauty around us. Thanks a whole lot for the follow and the reminder of the awesomeness of nature.
Look forward to reading more of your write-ups. what a blog! I feel elated. 😀 Take care.
Merry Christmas 🎄 in advance too.
What beautiful stories you write.
Thank you for that!
It seems to me you heard the woman just fine. I appreciate you sharing your response.
Reblogged this on loethe1.
Your writing sucked me into your story and stole a piece of my heart. What an amazing chain of memories you hold. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful memory & amazing story. I was listening 🙂
What a compliment. I thank you!
This is beautiful. I thought you’d like to know that I’ve nominated you for a SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD. Details here: https://wordingthrough.wordpress.com/
Entirely up to you whether you’d like to accept it or not, but I think you deserve it!
I was reading a book one time on being thankful. The author wrote one thing which I can`t forget and think about it nearly everyday. He said he loves listening to his young children as they saw grace every evening. He said his children come out with long lists of things to be thankful- a sandwich they had, a nice sweet, a game had with friends, the dog, a nice walk through the park and the list goes on and on. Yes we can learn from children and young people. Yes there is a lot to be thankful for and thanks for saying it in your post.
What a great comment. Thanks!
It sounds like you’ve done a wonderful job at parenting your children, well done. Giving thanks is so important, it’s something I look for every day.
I have that same feeling towards my two. It’s wonderful remembering the sights, smells, and sounds of their childhood. I love your story. Happy Holidays.
Awesome post! ;D
Lovely post and some of the same thinks for which I am grateful. Wishing you wonderful holidays, but then I know you’ll absolutely see them for what they are. 🙂
Reblogged this on Dennis Galen and commented:
Learning to listen is very important.
I think it’s rather sad that the woman just didn’t understand!
What a beautiful story:) I was also saying, “She’s not listening” in my head as a read on:) BTW, I could not get any sound to hear your son singing:( My speakers were on and worked for everything else, but not for his vines:(
Never mind! I found where the mute button was lol He sounds awesome!!
Great, thanks for the blog compliment and for listening to his little videos! I’ll be sure to tell him. Thank you again!
Stuart… I am starting my day at work.. and reading this just made me smile 🙂 Great way short story …Very nice 🙂
Excellent — She asked what you are thankful for…I don’t think she was listening.
I loved this….
Yes! that listening ear is vital isn’t it or you just feel you missed themark and were misunderstood – love the story by the way!
Reblogged this on Following Seas and commented:
Great post Stuart! Your knack for “shucking” the mundane and finding something marvelous is something I want to learn, so I’ll be following. Thanks for stopping by my blog; I want my readers to meet you if they haven’t already.
So sad that she didn’t understand her own question.
Great post! I know many people who write gratitude lists and sometimes I ponder if they have a gun to their head, you would think this be a joyous act.
I can’t remember if I commented here before, but I read this again and just had to say how amazing this short story is! You are so talented and convey such feeling in your words. =)
Hey, even if you did I’ll take all of the comments like that you’d like to give! Haha! Thanks, I really appreciate that!
think I also commented a while back, but it never hurts reviewing what we’re thankful for. Besides these memories move farther into the past as time marches on. You reminded me of my thankfulness for the 5 kids I raised, and now for their 5 kids. Thanks for the like.
For sunlight on snow, for boys who sing, for sledding and hiking, for reading together under covers, for fish tacos.
All excellent things!
This is absolutely beautiful, thank you for sharing!
Reblogged this on Beyond the Zone: God and The Spiritual Journey.
Beautiful! Thank you for writing this.
It’s wonderful to hear that you see the otherwise ‘little things’ in life and are thankful for them. Most people don’t recognize them as a reason for thanks.
This is the first post I’ve read on your blog after looking through titles and categories. A great post to get started on. All excellent things to be thankful for. It’s too bad she wasn’t listening.
Thanks for reading! And no, she was not listening at all…
Beautiful story! Also, your son’s voice is amazing!
Thanks! And thanks for listening to my son’s little video! I’ll pass your compliment on to him. Thanks again!
Beautiful. I can relate – I’m thankful to be with my kids every single day. They are amazing, and they will grow up too fast, I know.
Oh that was delightful. Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m so happy to now be following yours.
some people just want to hear what they want to hear. nothing else. sigh… on that note, i’m thankful for the friends and family in my life. without them, i’m but a spec of dust in this universe.
Great post. Pleasure to read!
*chuckle!* Love your post! Funny how listening and hearing can be so different! *Sending love to that lady on the bus* Someone may have told her to write out gratitude lists in order to help her with the inner stresses she feels… with the hope of helping her disconnect from the rushing mind and connect to her heart… You spoke from your heart, but she couldn’t hear because she was filling out an obligatory list, and hadn’t let go of her obligation to see with her heart… It takes practice… *sending her more love to help her* *smile* Peace!
PS, thanks for the follow!
You DO have a lot to be thankful for!
Your words are beautiful; I’m there picturing your daughter and son with smiles on their faces.
Enjoyed your story, will share on my FB page – Thankfully!
This was so beautifully written!
Love this! Also, thank you for following Boxx Banter. I’m new to blogging and appreciate the encouragement!
Beautiful writing, I’d love to think my parents think of me in the same way, although I’m sure their descriptions of me would be far less poetic!
Your writing is beautiful. And so is your sons singing voice. He wow’ed me 🙂
Personally I’m thankful for the last few minutes I’ve spent reading many of your words. 🙂
What a nice thing to say and such a compliment. Thank you!
I know it has been a long time since you “liked” my post THE FIRST MEETING, and I appreciated your “like” then, and today I reopened the wordpress notification and clicked on this blog of yours. How at home I felt with your writing, wonderful, and if you portrayed anyone, it was my father who you reminded me of; he showed me how to appreciate nature, and how to laugh and make humorous comments. Thank you so much, your children are very lucky to have you as a father: I know, mine was like you and for that I am thankful.
Thanks for such a comment. What a great compliment that is! Thank you again!
This is so great! 😅 enjoyed reading it.