Reflections: Grateful or Grouchy?

Being raised by a father who had served in the Army and a mom of five siblings, my sisters and I were not allowed to whine about hand-me-down clothes, chores around the house, left-overs for supper or squeezing the last drop of toothpaste out of the tube.  We were taught to be grateful for having any and all of these.  From my earliest childhood, “Please” and “Thank-you” were expected to be heard from us – frequently.  We also laughed every day, often over the silliest things.  One morning at breakfast we had only a tiny bit of 3 different cereals left, not enough for a whole bowl from any one. I was grouchy. Daddy said to just be grateful and dumped them altogether!  “Cheeriflakes” were invented and became a favorite cereal for us.

Chores became opportunities for races to see who could finish first. Squealing with laughter at who was ahead sure worked better than grumbling about dishes, weeding, dusting or whatever it was that had been written on our Chore Charts. 

Now before you get the wrong idea let me just say I had my share of grouchy days. One of my favorite characters is someone all of you know quite well. His name is Oscar and he’s known for being a well, you know…

                 “Always start the day with a smile – that way you get it over with.”
                                                     Oscar the Grouch

 A few years ago I was fortunate to meet Caroll Spinney, and visit with both him and Oscar.  They were the perfect pair of “Grateful-Grouchy”.  The more Oscar grumbled about having to share with a room full of adoring fans, the sweeter and more enjoyable Mr. Spinney became. I remember him saying Oscar always tells the truth and that although at times he can be rude, Oscar truly does have a heart of gold.

May I, in my truthfulness, remember that those around me need to be shown a bit more gratitude, to always start the day with a smile! (thanks, Oscar),  and that “Cheeriflakes” can be found in places other than cereal bowls. 

Mary Byrne Kline

                   Happy Thought

               The world is so full
                  of a number of things,
               I’m sure we should all
                  be as happy as kings.

              Robert Louis Stevenson

The Fireflies’ Theme for April?  Being Grateful.    You won’t want to miss a single post.  We will be sharing some great books, ideas, and family activities – all about training our children to be grateful and to express gratitude.  Don’t forget to share the Fireflies’ Blog with your friends.


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