Over the past three weeks children have had the opportunity to display what they are thankful for on our Thankful Tree. Before and after their lessons the kids have been writing what they are most thankful for on fall colored leaves, then they taped the leaves to our tree in the viewing room for everyone to see.
We expected the kids to put up things like “toys”, “candy”, or “superman”, however they were surprisingly mature and insightful! Instead they put “my mommy and daddy”, “Academy Swim Club”, “my friends”, “my swim instructor”, “my home” and “Grandma and Grandpa”. By committing this valuable action, well beyond their years, they have reawaken all of the parents to what life is all about, they have paused our busy schedules to show us that there are things more important than clothes or the newest electronic gadget.
What started out as a bare brown trunk and branches is now a huge tree blossoming with hundreds of fall colored leaves. Our viewing room has been transformed into beautiful scene from a fall calendar. Best of all, on each of these leaves we are all reminded of a child’s heart. The children here have opened up their thankful hearts to show us what this winter season is all about: love and gratitude. Our swimmers, instead of complaining about what they don’t have, realized that not all kids have a mommy and daddy, or grandparents, or a home and showed is they were grateful that they were lucky enough to have all of those things. Their love for their parents, friends, and swim instructors is evident in their thankful leaves; I only hope that our love for them can be just as evident in our word and action.