Summer had finally hit. The backpacks were empty, alarm clocks were turned off, and eyes rolled every time I mentioned reading a book or sharpening those math facts. The kids were already playing hard and squeezing the life out of their vacation days. As one of our days last week was winding down, two of my monkeys were high in our front tree while Cricket was busy decorating the driveway canvas with chalk. Between tinkering with my flowers and barking at the boys to steady themselves on those wobbly branches, I hadn’t paid much attention to Cricket’s growing chalk masterpiece now sprawling all the way up to the garage. Exhausted from the new summer routine, I pulled up a chair to kick back and relax. It was then that I saw Cricket had not been working on a picture, but rather a message of gratitude. She had written, “Thank You” in the center of the driveway, and then surrounded it with all of the things she was grateful for. She listed school, love, ice cream, friends and much more. As I was admiring her work, huge water droplets began falling from the sky. They quickly came closer together until sheets of rain blanketed the air as we watched from the safety of our front window. My sentimental daughter fretted about her painstaking last hour of work that was quickly washed away like colorful tears running down the driveway. The next day brought the sun out again and the kids were back at their carefree outdoor play. When I walked out front I found my persistent daughter recreating her message of appreciation from the day before. When I started back into the house, she begged for me to add something to her growing list. I picked up a piece of pink chalk and carefully added ‘warm sunshine’ and ‘odor control spray for stinky boy shoes’ to her work. However, as I walked away, I realized what I am most thankful for is a kid that is thankful.