I'm grateful for my dear parents and for Adam's. My children have spectacular grandparents. I hope I can grandparent in a similar way. The older I get, the more I can understand the important influence good parents can be. And mine are good.
I'm grateful for my siblings (including their spouses). They are the most entertaining group of people I know. We tease each other and meddle and even compete a little, but when the chips are down, we are a force to be reckoned with. My brothers and sisters can be warriors when they are needed and there's no one I'd rather have on my side.
I'm indebted to my grandparents. I appreciate what they taught my parents but I also appreciate the off limits food that was available only at Grandma's and the merry outings and holidays and birthdays spent. I'm thankful for the mediocre basketball games they watched me play in and the school plays they diligently attended. I'm thankful for birthday cards with money slipped in and their dear handwriting telling me that they loved me and they were proud of me.
What more could I want?
I'm glad I have cousins. I have a lot of cousins and don't see them very often. There are a few of them that I cherish though. I don't remember ever not loving and adoring my beautiful cousin Leslie. (Come to think of it, maybe that's why Mark melts me a little...he has the same red curly hair as Leslie...) My cousin Hannah is one of my heroes. She is likely one of the busiest mothers in America but also one of the most talented. I recently asked her for some advice on a craft idea I was hatching and she promptly sent me back a whole passel of (really good) ideas and help and tutorials. She's amazing.
I learn from my family. I learn how I want to be. (And sometimes how I don't want to be.) Families are flawed and unpolished and not always ideal but I agree with this:
Family life is a bit like a runny peach pie - not perfect but who's complaining?
Do you remember the song, "I Am Glad for Many Things?" We used to sing it EVERY week for Family Home Evening. I'm not sure how that happened. I also don't know who started singing it in an off-key round but my money is on either Olivia or Tabor, the two cheekiest members of the family.