Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ordinary Days

Last night was a bit rough. Elijah was up every 30 minutes, sneezing and coughing. Eventually, at about 3 am I decided to bring him into bed with us. Normally, being in mom and dad's bed is too thrilling for Elijah. He'll look at the alarm clock, his monitor, or anything that emits light and laugh. Laughing isn't really conducive to sleeping. We learned long ago that sleeping with us just didn't work and we stopped bringing him in our room. A blessing, perhaps, to have our bed to ourselves. But last night was different. Elijah snuggled in laying on top of me (just like he used to when he was a baby), wiped his slime all over me, and went to sleep. He slept until the morning and we did too.

Whenever Elijah gets all snugly, I get nostalgic. I remember in these moments that this will all be over soon. Elijah will only be this little once. Someday soon he'll be too big to lay on top of me in our bed. He'll be too big for me to cradle in my arms. He'll be too big to pick up and rock. He's already getting too big.

Perhaps this is a lesson that has come slower to me than most parents because Elijah achieves milestones later than his neuro-typical peers. Sometimes it seems like we'll be stuck in a developmental stage forever. And then everything changes and I realize that soon he'll be a full-fledged boy, and teenager, and then adult. It'll be here sooner than I realize. I'd better soak it up, take it all in, and enjoy every single moment. Milestones or not, Elijah will get older. Things will change.

Elijah's babyness is pretty much gone. He's a toddler, a little boy - there really isn't much baby left in him. And I wish I'd have enjoyed the baby-Elijah more instead of worrying so much (something I hear a lot of other special needs parents say too). But what I can do is to enjoy him NOW - exactly as he is. I can enjoy each and every ordinary day we have. Because I'm sure my parents look at me, their youngest, and think "Where did the time go?" (Thanks for everything mom and dad!).

Ellen shared the following video on her blog and I wanted to share it here too. It's author Katrina Kenison reading from her book The Gift of an Ordinary Day (now I want to read it!). No, it's not about special needs and some of the things the author says won't be relatable to all parents. But I think the lesson is the same...to enjoy every single moment. Milestones or inchstones, childhood is gone before we know it. We'd better enjoy every moment.

If you're a parent you'd better grab your tissues, because I can pretty much guarantee that your eyes will leak.

I'm going to enjoy this ordinary therapy-free day at home with our snotty-nose boy. I hope you have an ordinary day too.


Candace said...

Yes Lisa, You are so right. But it's not too late! There is still time! I am calling a pajama day! Let's be lazy with our kids!

Kathy Lausted said...

Lisa, The gift of a perfectly ordinary day is what you will look back on when your children are grown and gone. Remember when it was raining outside and we jumped on our bikes to buy some dill for canning pickles? All of us rummaged through the closet for rain gear. Most of it was your dad's so it was a sight to see. The man who was selling the dill laughed when he saw us come. What an adventure in a perfectly ordinary day! There are many memories and I still enjoy those ordinary days when our family is together again. You know me - Quality time:) Love you, Mom

Tara Bennett said...

Sometimes we have to break the rules and let Chloe sleep with us as well. Whatever works and ensures that everyone gets some zzzz's!

I somehow missed that video on Ellen's blog so thanks for posting it. I loved it!

Dad said...

From an older guy who is now in the next stage of Grandparent. I certainly related to the video, but grew up in the age of "not" instant pictures so I rely more on the memories and that video brought many of them back.

And, "yes" those days did seem like only yesterday.

But I enjoy today as well, son-in-law, daughters-in-laws, and of course grandchildren.
Life is good!!!

Thanks for your latest visit.

Love Dad

Katy said...

I also wished I'd known to enjoy the baby phase a little more--I was so consumed with worry then. Great post!

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