My mom, Carlos and I were talking this morning about how often Joel thanks us for things. I admit that at times my thank-yous are a bit mechanical and said from habit, especially if it is something I was expecting already. Joel, on the other hand, has an amazingly grateful spirit. When we give him food, a drink, whatever, his smile lights up the room and he joyously exclaims "Thank you".
Last night, as usual, he decided to go to bed shirtless (he still views clothing, with the all-important exception of shoes, as something to be discarded whenever possible). In the middle of the night he woke up and nursed, thanked me profusely for the milk, then shivered. I offered him a shirt and he was overjoyed. He thanked me about three times as he fell back to sleep, smiling. It is so easy to want to do things for him when he is so thankful for every little thing.
Thanks to Joel, I am wholeheartedly thankful right now for toilets that flush. I am especially grateful to my brother in law who gave up his entire evening and some sleep to fix them for us. I am deeply thankful for my family and all the people in my life. There is a verse that Paul wrote (I'm too lazy to look up the reference at the moment) that thanks some of his family in Christ for "refreshing his spirit". You all do that. There have been many times when I was feeling cold and you all nourished my heart and wrapped me in love. Thank you so very, very much.