The prompt: What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

Be warned: mushy sentiment ahead.

So Husband left last Tuesday for Abu Dhabi; he comes back Thursday night. Yes, for those of us keeping score, he will have been gone just shy of two weeks. He says it’s nine days. I say when you’re solo parenting, once it’s more than a week, I stop counting. Mostly because I’m too tired to count.¬† When I factor in the business class (and actually he got bumped to first class on the way out, poor thing), then he’s really been gone for like two months.

But. But. Here’s the thing. We have this advent calendar that we bought a long time ago, when Liam was a bitsy toddler, because we thought it would be charming to fill the little drawers each day as we counted down to Christmas.It looks like this:

What a stupid fucking idea. It’s not just “fold back the little window, see the picture, ooh that’s nice, six days left till christmas.” Noo. It’s shit, gotta find something small to fit in that little cubbyhole–and now that there are two boys, it’s two small things. Can you say fat pain the ass?

Husband came up with a brilliant solution: he bought a smallish lego set and broke it down into different little bits, each with a page of instructions. Yes, it’s kind of insane and more than a little OCD, but it feeds the rat of that damn advent cubbyhole calendar. As Husband was packing to leave for his trip, as he gathered together the book manuscript he’s finishing, the various files he needs for the meetings he’s going to, etc etc etc., he took the time to organize all these little bits–the right lego pieces, a xeroxed page of instructions–into separate envelopes for me, each with a date, to help me be the fucking¬† Christmas Elf.

Husband is way better at things like that than I am; he pays attention to details, especially details that make the boys happy. I forget, way too often, to tell him thank you for attending to all the details–like the Christmas Elf, like all our gadgetry, the list goes on and on.¬† So…This post is a blanket “thank you” for all those details, all those things that I forget to acknowledge.

And next year we’re getting different advent calendars, dammit.