When you are about to become a mother, everyone and their mother seem to have "the best" advice for you. I honestly cannot tell you how many times someone told me to "just enjoy the small things" while I was expecting Madi, and then again while we were waiting for Sydney to be born. Little did I know how much that lesson would resonate with me as the years went on.
As I have mentioned before, my kids are not your average kids. They have medical issues which led to developmental ones. Therefore, they have to fight a bit harder than a typical kid their age just to do things that you would normally not think twice about.
Now I really appreciate the small things. The really, really small ones. I have become quite the cheerleader of a mom, congratulating my children for things I never thought I would have to. For instance, yesterday I commended Sydney for being such a good girl when she had her echocardiogram done. We tend to really overdo it in this house. Every little accomplishment is a reason for a celebration of some kind. 'Madi put her shoe on? All by herself? Wa-hoo, get that girl a sticker!' 'Oh my gosh, Sydney said a three-word sentence! Anyone got any M&Ms?'
I hope that we aren't going to turn them into monsters that think they should be applauded for everything they do, menial or not. Rather, the lesson I am hoping to impart is that we should count all of our blessings, no matter how trivial they may seem on the outside. The fact that you tied your shoe isn't all that significant. Till you see someone who is recovering from some type of accident and is re-learning to do it. Going to the bathroom? Yeah, everyone does it. No big deal, right? You have obviously not stood next to a loved ones' hospital bed, praying for pee.
We live in a society that is obsessed with comparison. Moms get their kids together for playdates, and it turns into a veritable competition about whose child can recite their alphabet. In three languages. Backwards.
This year, many of us have made our usual resolutions. ( I have firmly resolved to lose weight. Really. This year, I swear.) But I challenge you all in 2012 to take a look around you and count your blessings. Instead of dwelling on what you do not have, why not rejoice in what you do? Believe me, I know that at times that can be hard to do. That's why I am calling this a challenge. It may not always be easy but it certainly will be worth it. Celebrating all the small things in life not only brings you happiness, but it will have a positive impact on all those around you. You know how they say that misery loves company? Well, positivity spreads like wildfire too. Try it!
I plan on continuing to embrace every little victory my children attain. Every step, every calorie, every inch or ounce that they grow. And the big things? I am not ashamed to admit that when Madi finally gets potty trained, I may just hold a ticker-tape parade.