Thursday, September 19th, 2019


Ten years ago today, my mother and I had the good fortune to hear a special song, performed a capella at the Thanksgiving dinner table by our dear friend Anne Runolfsson. That song was John Bucchino’s “Grateful,” and we were so moved by it that we ended up collaborating with John, and the gifted artist Anna-Liisa Hakkarainen, to turn it into a picture book.

That song continues to bless our lives, especially at this time of year, and always invites me to “remember how I’m blessed.”

I have so very much to be grateful for, but here’s just a partial list… heartfelt, albeit not nearly as poetically expressed as John’s lyrics:

  • My terrific family, including my divine husband, beautiful children, and beloved parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws
  • The health and energy that enables me to live fully and maintain a lively schedule of activities, both professional and personal
  • Work that feels like play 99% of the time
  • Our hilarious dog, Louie, who brings such humor and pleasure to our lives, closes doors and drawers when we forget to, and has introduced us to so many new friends
  • Our home, which though not nearly as tidy or organized as I’d like, is a vibrant reflection of our busy, creative lives
  • Living in a coastal village that is picturesque, full of history, eccentric and enchanting all at the same time
  • The families who read and enjoy the books we write
  • The technology that makes my work faster, easier and more enjoyable (especially all things Apple!)
  • The creative colleagues whom I am so fortunate to work alongside, at Stony Brook Southampton, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, and elsewhere
  • My fellow authors, whom I admire and learn from every day, including the members of the Childrens Book Hub community
  • Good friends who bring warmth, laughter and insight into our lives and days
  • All the many, many Hamilton family ‘team members’ who make a daily contribution to our lives in countless ways – from the teachers, associates and assistants to the caregivers, therapists and myriad other comrades and providers who sustain our family’s continued growth and well-being
  • The continued capacity for love, imagination, laughter, perspective, open-mindedness and wonder

Happy Thanksgiving!


5 Responses to “Grateful”
  1. Beth says:

    What a beautiful, heartfelt post, Emma! Thank you. I will be ordering the book forthwith. What a lovely experience that inspired the book.

    Today (although it’s not Thanksgiving here in Canada, our Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October) I am grateful for

    ~ My extended family, and family of friends, who have sustained me in this year-with-a-difference since the deaths of my parents;

    ~ The incredible connections I’ve made in the writing world, especially the connection with you, Emma, and all the help and encouragement you’ve given me in my writing, and with special mention of the Hub.

    ~ The awesome opportunities that have come my way in this highly unusual year, and the ability to take advantage of them and enjoy them to the full.

    ~ Books. Poetry. Music. Life. Laughter. Tears. Hugs. Warm smiles. Memories. People.

  2. Suzie says:

    As I write this I am grateful for the laughter my nieces are sharing with each other, my cat who’s yelling for more turkey, the dog who’s barking for no reason . . . and for so many blessings in my life. This year, I’m writing on a regular basis, singing again, playing piano, working, and breathing. I am so thankful for those who inspired and encouraged me to stretch my comfort zone this year. And I’m grateful for the special memories I can call upon when I’m missing my mom, grandparents, and other departed loved ones.

    Happy Thanksgiving Emma to you and yours – and thank you.

  3. Priscilla Rogers says:

    I have that book, and it is a blessing!!! Thanksgiving is such a special day, and this year I am happy to spend it with my mother who is now 96 and my primary responsibility. I am also blessed to be a member of the “Hub” and all that it affords me as I write. Thanks to all who have been an encouragement to me.

    My blessings include my mother, sister and family, children, nine grandchildren and friends who are so faithful to stand by even during the difficult times.

    Others who have been an inspiration and kept me going even when I maight have given up. Some may not realize how much they mean to me, but they will always be a special part of my life.

  4. Diane says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Emma, (sorry I’m late).

    Although we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in New Zealand, I am grateful for many things that have happened in my life, the trips overseas and the many wonderful friends we have made. To still have a job I enjoy and a loving patient husband, family and extended family and friends.

    Have been very fortunate in much that has happened this year and grateful for what you and the Hub have done for me, my confidence, my blog, the SCBWI Conference I never imagined I would attend, and the wonderful friends I have made and met there, and the Conferences held here also.

    Thankyou Emma!

  5. Beth says:

    I’m also grateful for “Raising Bookworms” and there’s a shout-out for it on my blog right now —

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