I put each of Jessica's hands on my shoulders then pull her pants down. When I get them to her ankles, I lift her left foot out. I do the same to her right foot. She is now ready to get into the tub. She squeels her delight. Okay Melissa, your turn. Hands on my shoulders, pull her pants down to the ankles, reach for the left foot - what just happened? Her foot is up and out and I didn't even touch it! In fact she puts it down brings up her right foot, takes that one out pushes the pants out of the way. Awestruck, I help her into the tub with her sister, both laughing and splashing. For over 3 years I have been performing the above routine. My appreciation for Melissa grows stronger.
I relate this tale for parents everywhere to relish these small accomplishments. They are remarkable and there are so many of them! We take note of first smiles, crawls, steps, words, those are biggies for sure but we need to keep our eyes wide open for what we may tend to overlook.
We hear a baby's first cry shortly after birth and we know a miracle. An act so simple and complex at the same time.
I thank God for Melissa everyday. If it was not for her, Koosh and I may never known such small miracles. Every action had so much more meaning knowing that Jessica may never perform them. Running, playing tag, playing in the sandbox, baking, shopping, reading a story - aloud! Oh there are so many! We savored and praised every one of them!
Thanks to Jessica, we appreciated Melissa so much more. Something I took with me in my career of early childhood. Something I shared with other parents. And to think we almost decided to have no more children after Jess. What we would have missed out on!
Children are such gifts, aren't they? We need to address all their needs so that they are prepared to inherit this planet. Have we done that? Have we given them the tools to make healthy choices? Are we preserving what we have so that they can benefit as we have?
God bless these treasures we call children!