on guilt, gratitude and milkshakes

I could feel guilty that I took the kids through the Chick-fil-A drive-through for lunch (when we had plenty to eat at home), or I could be grateful for the moment when Girl Powers realized we were driving in the opposite direction of home, her eyes growing wider as we made a left toward the red-flagged beacon of nuggets and waffle fries.

I could feel guilty that my one-year-old has been sipping from our communal chocolate milkshakes since he was … well, less than one, or I could feel grateful that this monthly weekly periodic indulgence has become so familiar that even he knows when he has sipped too long, stopping and handing the cup to his sister without being prompted.

I could feel guilty that our lunch came from a grease-bespotted carton, or I could be grateful that we know enough to know better, that we have enough to make better choices…most of the time.

I could feel guilty about the calories, the deep-fried deliciousness, the cherry on top of the whipped cream on top of the milkshake, or I could be grateful that we enjoyed them together, ar0und the kitchen table, laughing.

I could feel guilty that this crazy week has meant sitters two nights in a row, or I could be grateful for the opportunity to get out with friends, to be part of a community, to carry a purse too small for diapers, snacks and lovies.

I could feel guilty for writing instead of cleaning during my little window of quiet (or for writing this instead of working on essays and queries for my writing class), or I could be grateful for this space to play in, to you friends for reading, for a full stomach and wandering mind to fuel my words.

Given the choice between guilt and gratitude, I’ll always choose the latter. With a chocolate milkshake and a side of fries.

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