I turn 47 in a little more than 2 weeks and for that I am grateful. Not that 47 is a big deal or anything... it's just that I'm stopping to smell the flowers a bit and say that I'm glad I made it to 47. Unless of course I don't make it 2 more weeks in which case this blog post will be very ironic and fairly awful.
I have a daughter who is the absolute best thing about the world. Everything about her is perfect and she makes me happy by existing. I thought I understood love but when she was born my eyes were opened.
I have a wife for whom I waited for almost 40 years. We are different but together we are great. By herself she is spectacular and I'm lucky to have her next to me.
I have a job where I smile on my way to work every day. Not many people have that and I am blessed to call myself a teacher. Every single day brings me joy and I learn things from these kids I work with constantly. Their victories feel like my victories and I win each day.
I have some amazing in-laws. They have accepted and embraced me from the beginning and I feel like a big part of the family.
I work with the best group of English teachers ever. Big Bear, Pony, and TOY are not only my lunch partners and co-workers, they're my lifelong friends. And there are about another couple dozen I consider friends as well.
In my 23 year teaching career, I have worked with and for some amazing administrators who have shaped me into the teacher and man I am today.
The Omans are wonderful people and like family to me. Bill, Stacey, Ava, William. Love 'em all.
I am grateful for my mom who died early but was a damn good mother for 20 years. She raised me to a feminist, compassionate, and kind.
I am grateful for my dad who was a great father and friend for 40 years. He's still around but our relationship has stalled for various (one really big) reasons the past few years. Even if he doesn't come around, he was a damn good dad.
Other things I am grateful for:
My old oncologist
Don Taco and Golden China
Books. Glorious books.
Brian Doyle's essays
Roxane Gay's essays
Cari Luna's book
The Grantland website
99% of all my ex-students but especially my favorite all-time five. (They know who they are)
Jon Snyder my fourth grade teacher
Friends old and new
Mariners Seahawks, Blazers
My old Ford Fiesta
and ice cream.