Three weeks ago my daughter had knee surgery to repair the ACL she tore skiing last January. (We had to wait a year to do the surgery so she would mostly be done growing.) Today was her first day of physical therapy. I watched the physical therapist help my daughter bend and straighten her leg as much as possible. She's doing well, but she's a long way from full range of motion and her usual activities like skiing, soccer, basketball, and volleyball.
After she was finished I dropped her off at school and went to a weight training class at the gym. (I won't tell you how long it's been since I did that.) We did lunges and squats and calf raises, all the things that you would normally do at a weight training class, but for me it was different. Each of those exercises represented something that my daughter can't do right now. It made me think about how grateful I am for basic mobility. It also made me think about how grateful I am that she has a good doctor and good physical therapists, and that she'll regain the full use of her knee within a year.
Through this whole journey I should have been celebrating every step. The way I celebrated all of my kids' first steps, the way I celebrated my daughter's first steps after her surgery, the way I celebrated the completion of the three novels I wrote that so far no one wants.
There are so many quotes about happiness being a journey and not a destination, but it's not a cliche, it's true. Today, (I know it's a week late for Thanksgiving) I'm grateful for my knees that bend. I'm grateful that all four of my kids can now dress themselves (and that I still don't have to struggle to tie my shoes). I'm grateful that I have a supportive family, that I have a book coming out next year, and that I have the time and ability to write.