As parents, my wife, Andrea, and I have been blessed to have both of our kids go to Childrens House Montessori. We love its teaching principles and the way the teachers let the kids decide the pace they want to learn.
The school also has a special ritual at lunch, when all the kids say their thankfuls before eating. Whenever Ive been a guest, Ive always been reassured by how thankful kids are of their parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, pets, toys and teachers.
But a couple of months ago while eating lunch with my son Asher and his class (I was immediately thankful that my miniature plastic chair held my weight), a precious little girl paused before speaking, looked at all of her classmates (4- and 5-year-olds, mind you) and said I am thankful for all of you.
Oddly enough, right at that moment, something got in my eye, and I began to tear up. Imagine the odds! This little girl, doing her best Tiny Tim impression, awakened me to what was important in all of our lives: the sense, and security, of community and the assurance that those around us will be there when we need them.
They will be there when we are trying to make our way across the monkey bars.
They will be there when we need a friend on the playground or when our mom leaves in the morning and all we wanted was just one more snuggle.
They will be there when we are struggling to learn something new, especially when we see others already at the next level.
They will be there to put warm, nutritious food in our stomach and make sure we appreciate from where it comes.
So, of course, when I sit down to Thanksgiving dinner today, my family also will do our thankfuls. But in order to spare them my diatribe (and come between their mouths and the poblano stuffing), I will give you all the opportunity to read my list while taking a break from all those Black Friday inserts:
b As stated above, I am also thankful for this community. You all make this place special, and I am so glad to be part of it.
b No matter how hard it can be to make a living here, step out your door, look to the west, and check out the La Plata Mountains. I know it can be tough, but we live in a beautiful, beautiful place.
b I am thankful that many of you are dedicated to supporting local food and local agriculture. There are other, and sometimes cheaper, options, but all of us who continue to educate about the principle of choice appreciate the sacrifices you all make.
b Lastly, I am thankful to my family and those who I share todays meal with. Before there was football, shopping and the Butterball hot line, there were a couple groups of diverse folks who just wanted to share a meal and company. And I would bet one of them, maybe a little 4-year-old girl, was thankful for all of you.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6464. Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.