First of all, Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.  I am ever grateful both for my two amazing children and my own wonderful mother. We celebrated a day early since I am flying to Honesdale, PA today for a Highlights Poetry workshop. Five full days to write and read in a cabin in the woods – how grateful can one woman be? 🙂

My favorite gratitude moment this week happened on Friday evening. Jay and I were reading together.  The house was quiet except for the rain outside.  We decided to read Simeon’s Gift by Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton.  We have a CD that accompanies the book with Julie Andrews reading the story and lovely piano music as background.  Jay sat on my lap and we got started. Well, the combination of a long week at school, the cloudy evening, the rain on the roof and Julie Andrews’ soothing voice became too much for him and he fell asleep.  He is six years old, so it’s been a long time since he’s fallen asleep right on my lap.  Once the story was over, I sat and listened to the rain while I held him as he slept. One of the most peaceful moments I’ve had in a while.

Of course, we had to listen to the story again after dinner so Jay could find out what happened to Simeon! 🙂

Quotes on Gratitude

In lieu of specific quotes on gratitude, this week, in honor of Mother’s Day, I share this passage from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran which I thought especially beautiful and appropriate.

 Your children are not your children.

     They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

     They come through you but not from you,

     And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

     You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

     For they have their own thoughts.

     You may house their bodies but not their souls,

     For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

     You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

     For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

     You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

     The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

     Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

     For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable. 

Gratitude list for the week ending May 12

  1. Margareaders meeting – at my house this time. Discussion: The Hunger Games. Very fun evening.
  2. My mother, for having the kids spend the night at her house so that I could host aforesaid Margareaders meeting.
  3. Good friends, in all the forms they come in, who supported me in many different ways this week.
  4. Em had her “flying up” ceremony from Brownies to Junior Girl Scouts.
  5. A Saturday Mother’s Day celebration, since I leave for a Highlights workshop today. Yoga, hot bath, hot tea, homemade gifts from the kids, a nap, a dinner that I didn’t cook accompanied by nice red wine.  I’d call that a perfect Mother’s Day.
  6. A sound night’s sleep on Friday night. The first in quite a long time.
  7. My kids! Every mother’s day I reflect on how fortunate I am to be blessed with these beautiful people in my life.
  8. A check in the mail for an article I wrote.
  9. KT’s BBQ
  10. Maurice Sendak. All writers, illustrators and readers of children’s literature owe him a debt of gratitude. I appreciate his honesty and authenticity, his unwillingness to compromise his art for the sake of the market. His insistence that we recognize children for the intelligent, complex beings that they are – that we not write down to them or assume they don’t know everything adults know.  I thank him for asking the questions and then spending his life trying to answer them in his art.  We all are the beneficiaries of that inquiry.

What are you grateful for this week?

Categories: Family, Friendship, Gratitude Sunday, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , ,



  1. A beautiful post, Julie! Happy Mother’s Day to you! I, too, treasure snuggle times with my 6 yr old son. Have a super workshop in PA! I look forward to hearing about it!

  2. Indeed a lovely post, Happy Mother’s Day to you. My Mum just flew in from overseas after being in hospital and missed her original flight.

  3. Lovely post — Julie Andrews’ speaking voice is one of the things I’m grateful for. She reads so beautifully. A memory you brought to the fore of me reading Simeon’s Gift to my Mum in one of the nursing homes she was in, is also a source of gratitude.

    Thanks for all you, do, Julie (Hedlund this time, not the Andrews one!) Enjoy your poetry retreat!

  4. “The Prophet” is one of my favorites, yet I haven’t pulled it out in a while. Thank you for the reminder about that beautiful book. Julie, I’m so thrilled for the Highlights workshop. Have fun! This week I am grateful for a visit from good friends. We spent hours chatting out by the pool after the boys were in bed. I’m also grateful for the arrival of our Farmer’s Market, where we see neighbors and friends every week, as well as the farmers who have become our friends.

  5. Julie, I find mother’s day pretty difficult and your post has wonderfully lifted my spirits. What a sweet moment with Jay and Simeon’s gift! This is one of my favorite poems from Khalil Gibran.

    I have much to be thankful for this week, but mostly it is for my kidlit friends and their support!

    Have a wonderful Highlights Retreat!

  6. That was beautiful. I really needed the reminder today! Thanks for that.

  7. I am grateful I was able to call my beautiful daughter in law, Shannon and wish her a Happy Mother’s Day before my grandchildren got up or my son. we were on our respective decks and relaxing with coffee and it was lovely. what a nice time to tell her I respect her as a mom and love her as a daughter. she is a keeper.

  8. Such a lovely moment with your son, and what a beautiful selection from The Prophet. Thanks so much for sharing, and have a wonderful Mother’s Day 🙂

  9. Lovely post, Julie! I’d love to join you in your poetry week away that sounds blissful! It sounds like you had a wonderful Mother’s Day too 🙂

  10. Cherish those moments Julie. They truly are just moments. One day you wake up thinking you still have six year olds and what you have are 2 young men over six feet tall! They are still six in your heart though. Lovely post.

  11. Love the snuggle moments. We’re in the almost two, pushing, snuggling and pushing moments. 🙂 I appreciated your comments on Sendak. Spot on.

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