And now some genuine thanks

Regardless of my inability to give thanks for my greatest blessings, I have many other reasons to give thanks this year that I thought I should mention: 1. My daughter continues to be a blessing in our lives. She is perpetually happy, consistently well behaved, loves school and is learning in leaps and bounds. She can sing her ABCs and has memorized sizable chunks of several books.

With a year filled with thousands of little moments like these, how could anyone ever complain?

More reasons for thanks:

2. My wife has proven to be a remarkable mother with near-flawless instincts when it comes to parenting. She is tough, loving, unwavering and willing to do what is best for Clara in all things.

She’s a pretty great wife, too.

3. In these tough economic times, I am thankful to still find myself with the means of providing for my family.

I am doing some of the best teaching of my life this year and my job is secure. While I have an eye on teaching high school or college sometime in the not-so-distant future, I still adore my days in the classroom with my fifth graders and am blessed to be doing something that I love and a job that I have dreamed about doing since childhood.

In addition, I am working with some of the finest teachers who I have ever known, and together, I feel like we are making enormous differences in the lives of children.

My DJ company remains successful after fifteen years in business, and this year we streamlined our operations in such a way that I am doing considerably less work for more money.

My writing career continues to prosper. Though my latest book is not yet finished, my brilliant agent has already sold the foreign rights to the book in Spain, Italy, Brazil and the UK, with two other nations soon to follow.  In addition, the script for the pilot episode of a television show based upon Something Missing has been written and will soon be pitched to studios.  And the film options for Unexpectedly, Milo remain plentiful, with smart and determined people working hard to make the project happen.

I have much to be thankful for in terms of my professional life.

4. I am thankful for my friends, a collection of honest, direct, intelligent, successful people who miraculously accept me for who I am and stand by me in times of trouble.

5. I am thankful for the Patriots, a young team that is poised for a Super Bowl run. Regardless of their success this year, they are positioned to be an outstanding franchise for years to come.

6. I am thankful for canned, jellied cranberry sauce. We should eat much more of this throughout the year.

7. I am thankful for Bill Bryson, William Shakespeare, Stephen King, Nicholson Baker, JK Rowling, Jasper Fforde, Mark Twain, Billy Collins, David Sedaris and Kurt Vonnegut and a dozen others who I have shamefully forgotten to mention. These are writers who continue to entertain and inspire me every day.

8. I am thankful for Bluetooth headphones and the limitless supply of podcasts and music that pour forth from them on a daily basis.

9. I am thankful for puddles in the driveway, so that I can watch my daughter splash in them.

10. I am thankful for pickup basketball and the occasional collisions in flag football.

I’d be thankful for tackle football if I could find someone to play with me.

11. I am thankful for Sesame Street, a show that I watched as a child and one that I now watch with my child. Thirty years later, it has not disappointed.

12. I am thankful for Kaleigh, a dog who can admittedly annoy us to no end but is the only other living being willing to climb out of bed at 4:00 AM with me and head downstairs to work. Almost every sentence that I compose is written with Kaleigh underfoot.

13. And yes, I’m thankful for Owen, our twenty pound bulimic house cat who wakes us in the middle of the night and bites us from time to time but accepts all of Clara’s poking and prodding and full-body hugs with patience and love.

There’s more to be thankful for, of course, but Kaleigh needs to be walked, Owen needs to be fed, Clara needs a hug, and I need to finish a book.

I’m not going to work today (it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving), which means I have a lot of work to do.