All month long I've been seeing different people post ALL over Facebook what they're feeling thankful for. I couldn't help but think,
I discovered that the best things to be grateful for are the ones that you don't have to think about. They're the ones that you feel the gratitude on the spot for. Yesterday I picked up Little Bird from school and walked up to The Giving Tree, a tree adorned with paper mittens that hold the names, ages, and holiday wishes of children in the community who are in need of a little extra help this holiday season. We picked two mittens. One was for a 7 year old boy who wanted coloring books and stickers and the other was for a 3 year old boy who wanted winter boots. I showed my bird the "mittens" and explained that we'd buy these gifts for kids who need a little help. Then, I asked, "Bird, what's the hebrew word for giving to people who need help?" She excitedly shouted, "tzedakah!"
Tzedakah is the Jewish obligation to do what is right and just. In fact, the highest form of tzedakah is to give anonymously, and that's just what we'll be doing with these gifts. So, the very fact that my kid, at seven years old and with Autism, knows that we give to others who need a little help sometimes, is exactly what I'm thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving from me and my little turkey!