Counting my blessings

Wednesday was a great day. Of course, it was my birthday, so it should have been. Not that I put a lot of stock in my birthday. Haven't really, for years. As a kid, your birthdays are significant, because there have been so few of them. At some point in your life, God-willing, birthdays become significant again, because there have been so many. I've got a ways to go before that happens. Anyway...

The alarm went off at 5:30, and I awoke to the realization I had a dentist appointment at 8:30 and could sleep in. Nobody wakes up glad to have a dentist appointment in their future, but when it means an extra hour of sleep, you make an exception. (That's one.)

When I awoke an hour later, I found Younger Daughter sleeping on the floor beside our bed as she's been doing for a few weeks now. She has trouble sleeping in her room, and must have come into the room in the middle of the night. Quietly! (That's two.) I tip-toed around her to get to my clothes. In my dresser drawer are a pair of hand-made cards from Older Son and Oldest Daughter.

Came downstairs, read the cards they made. I am the luckiest guy in the world. OS's card is a simple "I love you Dad" in crayon on the back of a neatly-decorated coloring book page, written in perfect kindergarten letters. OD's is a postcard with a pencil drawing of Harry Potter and a hand-drawn "HP" postage stamp in the corner. It bears a glowing note of love and appreciation for me, and compares me favorably to her favorite young wizard. (Three and four.) If that was all that happened for the day, it would have been enough.

Did my normal morning routine as well as I could without leaving the house to go to work. Ate breakfast and enjoyed a glass of juice as I read an extra chapter of Paul's letter to the young church of Rome. I read more than I usually would, since I had the luxury of time. (Five.)

Sat down to write for a little while, and was greeted at about 7:45 by OS, who had seen my car still in the driveway from his bedroom window. Got a hug as if he hadn't seen me for two days. (Six.) Time you spend with your kids is always special, even when it doesn't feel special. It's important even when they resent you for being there. But when they are happy and surprised to see you, it's thrilling. Kissed the family goodbye, and off I went to the dentist.

And what happened there? The hygienist had thought she saw a "shadow" on one of my rear teeth, but it didn't show up on X-ray, and the dentist gave me a clean bill of health.(That's seven, before 9am.) "Merry Christmas," he said.

Actually, I said, happy birthday.

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