Many people choose to take time during the festivities to reflect on all the blessings, people, and things in their life. Our family is no different. I wanted to make more of an effort this year to help the kids understand all the things they have in their life to be grateful about.
I printed off a pumpkin for each person in our family. Each day we wrote something or someone on the pumpkin that we were thankful for this Thanksgiving. My 7 year old son is able to talk about and write his own ideas. My 10 year old with Down syndrome is a little different. I was not sure she would be able to supply an answer everyday when we first started this activity. I knew she would need me to help her write her answers since that is a skill she has not mastered yet.
So, each day we have had "pumpkin time." Usually, Elijah and I reread what is on our pumpkins. Then we add something to ours. Sometimes, Elijah cannot think of anything, so I brainstorm with him. I tell him to think of a person or food or toy or something he really likes. Then I read to Jaycee what is already on her pumpkin and asked her to list something else that she is thankful for that day. She caught on right away to what we were doing. Jaycee has not needed anymore help thinking of something than Elijah.
I noticed a pattern with Jaycee though.
While Elijah and I put a variety of things and people on our pumpkin, Jaycee has taken a different route. She has almost always wanted to add a person each day to her pumpkin. That should not have been a surprise to me. Jaycee loves people!
The first person she added was her favorite cousin, Gabby. Then came mom, dad, Grandma, Amy, Elijah, AJ, Mrs. Tolley, Sandra, Jayla, Kinsey, and more. Those names on the pumpkin represent her family, friends at school, friends from church, and teachers. (Let's not forget that she's thankful for pasta, her iPad, and Disney princesses too.)
Jaycee has a pure and good heart. She really has the heart of God in that she loves all people. The beautiful thing is that she has many people who love her too!
I am thankful for all the people who value Jaycee and see her as much more than her diagnosis.
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
Ephesians 1:15-16 NIV