I’m thankful for the swerve of his knees that make them knock, slightly; the constant grime lining his cuticles, the warts on the bottom of his feet, the scar in the middle of his forehead from when he fell up the stairs.
I’m thankful for his round bottom and how he shakes it with abandon whenever he hears Michael Jackson. I’m thankful for the music that’s inside of him, the way he turns every palm sized utensil into a drum stick, the way he harmonizes with Katy Perry and Drake.
I’m thankful for the horrid creatures he builds by chucking the Lego instructions aside and inventing monsters with super powers and the narratives necessary for world domination.
I’m thankful for his evil laugh and his stage whisper and his malapropisms.
I’m thankful for the comic books he draws even though the writing looks like it was done by someone who escaped their kidnappers just long enough to scrawl an SOS.
I’m thankful for the coins he collects and then gives away to strangers, the broccoli he eats without complaint, the foil wrappers of peanut butter cups that litter the kitchen floor.
I’m thankful that he’s learned to say please and thank you without prompting, that he brushes his teeth every night, that he apologizes for his finickiness with food, that he asks if he can play Minecraft on my phone and acknowledges when he smears pomegranate juice on the screen.
I’m grateful that his hair smells like rosemary since I am not allowed to kiss him, but he stands still while I take a deep, long breath of his scent.
I’m grateful that for the past few weeks he hasn’t cried out, “this is the worst day ever. Except for yesterday which was the worst and tomorrow which will be the worst because I never, ever have good days.”
I’m grateful that he will gladly take a walk in the trees and that he never fails to find the one bright berry in a dim, winter wood.
I’m grateful that he’s taught me to be grateful for small steps on the long, long road of a relentlessly difficult and beautiful life.