I am learning in life slowly, and only wished I would have realized so much sooner, it is all about the little things. Lately there have been several little reminders…
Someone had placed on their facebook this morning about little Ethan and the frustration that they had not rescued him and had only sent in Cheez-Its and Hot Wheels. It was the first time that I had read what they said they sent in. Sure, I am sure he would have like to have said send in my mom or dad. But to Ethan, I am sure those little things were really big things. I know our son would have likely asked for a particular toy and popcorn to bring comfort. I think of those parents tonight with their son, and I cry! 1. He made it out alive, and 2. of the little things they notice that they had not noticed in awhile – the color of his eyes, how his hand clasps theirs, the length of his arms when he gave them a hug. Of note, I am assuming the hand clasp and the hugs, only because we are blessed that our son with Aspergers expresses love with physical contact, and many do not. I think of Ethan as he sees his parents after this very scary time and what he notices about them. I can see him walking into his home and seeing maybe his pet, toys, DVDs and appreciating them like never before in his own way. I pray that he can vocalize all that happened to him so he can heal. Unfortunately, autistic children often have a hard time verbalizing their experiences. I bet things that were once BIG (tantrums, homework, stepping on toys not picked up, etc.) to his parent will now see them as little things. (I wrote this last night but heard the GMA interview with family and they kept saying what a special little buddy he is – I so understand.)
After the Sandy Hook tragedy, I know that I started looking at events, tantrums, taking too long, etc… as just small inconveniences and I was just blessed to have my children home and alive. If it takes Sam thirty minutes to pick out his favorite toys then it takes thirty minutes. If Mary procrastinates on a paper to the last minute, then she procrastinates. Too many times, those little things were big things in my life that would cause me to become upset.
I LOVE to read posts about the little things in people’s lives — I am not talking about the shopping then cleaning then fixing supper… but the things that bring a smile to the person’s face that you can just see by reading the post. Like I went shopping with my best friend and had a great time (I can see the smile). Or while cleaning I lifted the couch cushions and found $5 or for me a piece of Dove still in the wrapper (I can see the smile). Or I can’t wait to fix a favorite meal for supper for my family (I can see the smile). A good friend of mine on Saturday, celebrated the National Day for Eating Ice Cream for Breakfast — I could see the smiles even before I saw the pictures. (Even though at our house you can have ice cream for breakfast everyday – well, because it is a little thing).
It has been since the beginning of November since I started posting a daily list of blessing. That is approximately 100 days with 10 little things everyday so about 1,000. I actually read a book about One Thousand Gifts, by Anne VonKamp. When you start looking for the blessings they show up everywhere. When I add the little things up you have a big thing – 1,000 blessings! When I focus on the bad things that is exactly what I will find. I am not to say that everything is happy all the time and I have no worries. Friends will laugh at my life most of the time and try to figure out “how I do it all.” But, I am so thankful that I am not the person I once was. I was the person who looked at my career and took various jobs to say I did them – including one in Pittsburgh driving 2 ½ hours each way after dropping our beautiful daughter off at 4am to a sitter or Nanny’s. It was a great job and as a blessing I still have a great friend from there. But really… now, I do occasionally work too much, but even switched a day on the upcoming schedule so I could have Mary’s birthday off. Because – it is the little things!!!
Samuel has really taught me about the little things. I have a great friend who says everyone needs a Samuel in your life because he just makes you look at life differently. Last week he started to talk about sort of missing school. I was brave and asked what did he miss and he mentioned lightly friends and his teacher (it is those days it is hard and makes me wonder about the decision we made). But then he said with the deepest sincerity, but I really miss my Science Book. I was expecting the worst and he mentioned one of the smallest things. (p.s. the third grade Science Book like Marclay’s came today and exclaimed but I wanted one like mine at school. I assured him I ordered it too and it will be here soon. He was so excited and has carried the Science book around and it will be “our bed time stories”. ) A quick look at Amazon and was able to get 2 Hardback Harcourt Science books for under $10 — it is the little things!
It is the little things that are important, like
- Remembering people and their Words for 2013 – all 23 people and I could name them without looking at the list because it is important to remember that little thing – that one word.
- It is getting a card in the mail or a small gift for no reason.- or better sending a card in the mail with no reason .
- Lunch with a friend at their house over soup and fresh bread with kids playing in the background.
- Friends who understands and loves your children and their quirks – that is a BIG thing!
- Hot cup of tea EVERY morning from my favorite mug from an incredible friend that just brings a smile to my face.
- Pausing to really listen to what Sam has to say, because he is just funny.
- Stopping to read a bedtime story, when there are still dishes in the sink to be done. But they will wait. The dishes are the little things in comparison to the time spent with our child.
- Finding the perfect pair of jeans for your daughter.
- Talking to your daughter about inspirational quotes that are slowly covering her walls. Quotes that build up after all the years of being torn down at school.
- It is going shopping and spending 10 minutes in the cereal aisle in the grocery store because Sam exclaims “which one to decide.” And not caring that it took 10 minutes.
- It is riding to work with your husband and he holds my hand and drops me off at the door.
- Watching Sam play in the snow and make snow angels and not even noticing the cold.
- Talking to your family and knowing they have arrived safe in this weather.
Yes, it is all about the little things. I am just so thankful that I “get it”. So tonight as Ethan’s family hug him tight and are thankful for their son, for the little things… I too, am so thankful for the little things. Thankful that I have been intentional everyday to list at least ten, when in reality there are hundreds of little things…
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Braut