A deep sense of gratitude

Last week my oldest daughter turned 21. We decorated the basement into a “club” and threw her a party—just the five us in the family. We drank too much alcohol, made TikToks, played beer pong, and had a delicious, yet simple dinner.

A few months ago, if I had told her that was how she was going to ring in her 21st birthday, she would have been pretty disappointed. She didn’t see her friends. She didn’t go to her favorite restaurant. She didn’t even get to use her ID to get served at a real bar.

But that evening she told us it was a perfect birthday.

These days are riddled with stress, frustration, and sadness. But they have also provided a sense of gratitude like never felt before.