I was reminded that we who are lucky enough to parent amazing children never take anything for granted, and revel in what might to others look like mundane accomplishments. A young friend of mine is also fortunate enough to be the parent of a male child blessed with autism. I have felt honored the last few years to be able to share with her as we are much farther down the road in our travels than she is-and it is always nice to know someone who has been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.
Recently we were both excited to share 'milestones' with our young men. Susan's guy will be 7 years old in a few days, and she was so excited to share that he had used a fork to eat spaghetti for the first time. I was excited for her. Now most moms are probably not excited by something a simple as a child learning to use a fork, but for some of us that is worthy of celebration. When my son has achieved something like this I have often wondered, how did that switch get flipped?
My son is an adult male now, and he did something the same week that most moms wouldn't be celebrating, but at our house it was amazing. He was watching his favorite sport, a NASCAR race, and a driver did something that caused him to exclaim "What the hell was that?" My first response was to ask "What did you say?" not because I am offended by the occasional use of the word hell, but because my son has never before used any type of expletive and I wanted to be sure I heard him right.
So, I said "What did you say?" (I have hearing problems he is used to me asking that) and he said "What the hell did he just do?" Yup, I heard him right, I thought. Then I thought how cool, I heard him right. Now that doesn't mean I want my son to be in the habit of throwing around four-letter words, it means I am always excited when my son does something that is age appropriate, and I am certain that "what the hell..." is an appropriate response for a 27 year old male sometimes.
Never taking anything for granted is a gift that some of us moms are able to cherish. Celebrating our children no matter what. Celebrating a 7 year old using a fork to eat spaghetti, or a 27 year old just being a guy. It's the little things in life that are never little for some of us. Perhaps there is a lesson in there for all parents. Celebrate our children, revel in the mundane, the ordinary, and your children will bless you every single day!
Of course this all reminds me of my favorite Erma Bombeck column, the one I share every time a mom finds out she has been blessed with an amazing child. I am including it here, and Hey, Susan, here's your mirror!