This week's edition of the Nueces County Record Star includes an inserted section of Thanksgiving letters collected from third grade students in the Robstown, Calallen and Tuloso Midway school districts.
As adults, we often get so caught up in the day-to-day obligations in our lives that we lose sight of all the simple things for which we should be grateful. Reading over the letters these students wrote, I was impressed by their honesty, their thoughtfulness and their sometimes unintentional humor.
While most of the students took time to be thankful for their mother, Amanda Dusek showed maturity beyond her years in her expression of her thanks.
"She always puts food on the table, and I might not like it but I try it anyway because I love her and I know she loves me," Dusek wrote.
Juliss Marquez spoke about the importance of family, and brothers in particular.
"I am thankful for my brother for protecting me from strangers and beating people up," the third grader wrote.
Sometimes, letters like these just give us a wonderful perspective on what it is like to live as a child in a world made for adults.
"I am thankful for my family because without them I would be lonely. Without them sometimes you could not reach things," Zachery McMullen wrote. "With your family you can do all of these things. You would not be lonely and your family could get something if it was high."
Laughton Moller was also concerned with very practical issues.
"I am thankful for clothes, because I don't want to see our stuff," Moller wrote.
While some of the students struggled to find the words to express their appreciation for their parents, Raquel Covarrubias used stunning, beautiful imagery in her letter.
"I love my parent(s), and they love me too, like a rose," Covarrubias wrote.
Although many of the letters were humorous, I was also struck by their attention to parts of the world that are scary even to adults.
"I love my brother, because he is going to defend our freedom in Iraq," Drake Ramirez wrote.
"I am thankful for veterans because they never gave up and sacrificed for us," Austin Sannes said in his letter.
Albert Villalobos had a simple wish we can all join in, "for soldiers to come home and be with their families."
Jordan Collier showed that although we may not always be in a thankful spirit, all we have to do is look around us to find material.
"I am thankful for my food and home. I am thankful for my school. I am thankful for a flag. I am thankful for a fan. I am thankful for light. I am thankful to chairs," observed Collier.
I hope the example these students set will encourage you to take the time this week to look around your life and give thanks for all you have.
Christopher Maher is the Managing Editor for the Nueces County Record Star. Readers may contact him at 387-4511.