There have been times in recent years that this quote would have been heartily welcomed by me. Although, while in the midst of a challenge it may not have spoken to me as clearly as it does now. It is true that doing for and giving to children most of the time seems to be a thankless task and must be done out of love not for the kudos you may or may not receive. Patience is in order because if you wait long enough there is a high probability you will get the acknowledgement or thanks you desire. It usually does not come in ways you could ever imagine and never when you would expect it.
I didn't think I had made much of an impression on a boy who lived with me for three school years. That was until after graduation and moving out he returned months later, came into the house and the first thing he said was..."Ahhh...HOME".
It's amazing when I have heard my words of encouragement or a comment come back to me when I thought the child hadn't heard a single word I'd said. My son went to a private school on a financial aid scholarship so in comparison to most of the families we were, "The po' folk." At about eight years old he began to see the difference and it bothered him. His friends went to Switzerland for Christmas vacation. We went to Boise. His friends fancy cars had automatic windows. We had crank windows his friends didn't know how to operate. His friends wore designer clothes and his sometimes had the right labels but they came from a thrift store.
It was time. We had a "sit down" and discussed what was important in life and certainly fancy trips, cars and clothes were not on that list. I remember saying. "We have the important things...each other, our health, our family and friends, a nice house, car, food on the table."He looked at me like "Yeh...yeh, right, Mom", not impressed with my philosophical approach.
Years later when he was a teenager I was upset. I can't remember absolutely but I would guess the genesis of the problem probably had something to do with money. He listened to me and gently reminded me that..."We have all the important things...each other, our health, our family and friends, a nice house, car, food on the table."
He had listened those years ago, remembered an important concept and put it to use comforting me. This was the best form of "thanks" I could've received. These moments are the ones you might have to wait for but it's then you know that your time, your energy...your love was not wasted.