I always gave my little ones a writing assignment during the Thanksgiving season: I had them reflect on what they were grateful for and then they put pencil to paper. Now...when someone only has 5-7 years under their belt, there's not much past history to reflect on, and the concept of gratefulness is tough for some, as developmentally, the whole world pretty much revolves around their own little self (and rightly so!) So I always modeled for the class what I wanted them to do, and we would also brainstorm what 'being thankful' meant to them. There would be a class-generated list to choose from. And they would end up focusing on their parent(s), grandparents, sisters/brothers, etc, pets, favorite toys or books, etc., not having to share a bedroom, learning to ride a bike...you get the picture. (I realize that today the thanks might focus on Nintendos or technology or maybe, for some, the health of a family member, having a place to live, etc.) And once they had their choices made, the class went through the rest of the writing process and Thanksgiving cards were made and decorated and taken home to share with their parents. I hope that that activity at least opened the door of awareness and gave my students the beginning of the true appreciation of what made their lives special...even at that very young age. For that matter, I hope that there was at least one thing special for each one of them in their lives.
I mention this part of my teaching history because I wanted to share how grateful I am now, for so many things. I don't take anything....a n y t h i n g for granted at my ripe old age. I am truly grateful. I won't go into that long list of 'whats' or 'whys' with you, (and it really is). This blog would be extremely lengthy if I headed down that road right now. No, I just want to briefly explain why I am grateful for my flock of parrots, not just at Thanksgiving, but every single day that I walk into their room in the morning and am greeted with their beauty and their spectacular vocalizations and behaviors. And my guess is that, as parrot lovers, you feel the same way that I do.