If there is going to be one thing I am thankful for it’s the moments we share with the children. It’s the moments that have a lasting impression on each and every one of us. It’s the little things that in actuality are the most important things. I think sometimes we get that feeling that we need to do more. But little things like smiling, laughing, and just showing up go a long way. Unfortunately I can’t share with you the moments they remember with me. But I can share the moments I had with them and hope in some way or another those were special moments for them as well.
The moment he smiled at me.
I once watched an autistic boy about 13 years ago in the church nursery on Sundays. He would come in every Sunday morning and followed the same routine. He would remove the cases off the VHS tapes and organize them on the floor. And when he was done he would play. I remember the first time I made him laugh, and not only because he was laughing/smiling. But because his eyes that were almost always fixated on something else made their way up to me. He looked at me, smiling and laughing and looking at me and “that” was the special moment I remember we shared.
The moment he remembered me.
Many years ago I was stopped in the grocery store by a mother that recognized me. I used to babysit her two children. She was with her son at the time and explained to him who I was and he remembered me. He started asking me all kinds of questions but one question stood out the most. “When was my birthday and the year I was born?” he asked. I told him it was September 9, 1976. He proceeded to tell me my birthday was going to be on a Saturday that year. His mother looked at me as I glanced at her and she told me he was right. What you don’t know is that he is blind and has an autism spectrum disorder. He didn’t remember me in the store that day because he recognized me, but because of the moments we shared together. I went home that same day, looked up my birthday on the calendar, and lo and behold he was right my birthday landed on a Saturday.
The moment I caught her being adventurous.
It was really quiet so I knew something was up. I went looking for my youngest daughter and found her in the bathroom. She looked up at me waiting to see my reaction, knowing there was a possibility she was going to get in trouble. I don’t think she was expecting me to laugh. But I laughed so hard when I saw her with my bright red lipstick all over her face. Her facial expression changed from a worried-I-got-caught look to a joyful laughter that we both shared. If you think about it, my reaction could have changed the whole outcome of this moment we shared.
The moment she told me she was proud of me.
I honestly believe that children speak straight from the heart. And for a child to tell you that they are proud of you means the world. I remember I was sitting at the computer and just found out I filled my first spot upon opening my daycare. I was so happy, but what made that moment even more special was when my eldest daughter came up to me, put her arms around me, and said “Mommy I’m so proud of you!” Just hearing those words alone touched me in so many ways.
The moment we connected.
When I first opened up my daycare I introduced sign language. As I was learning new signs, they were learning too. It is amazing the connection you build with sign language. They would look at me, observe me, copy me, and then laugh because they knew we were communicating, we were connecting. They would sign the word eat, I brought them a snack, they would giggle. If they signed the word up, I’d pick them up, they’d giggle. I am thankful for these connections.
You see I am thankful for the moments we share with the children. The moment she ran down the street and I chased her to keep her safe. When he was sick and I gave him a breathing treatment and he looked at me as if to say thank you. The moment I picked her up, hugged her, and told her that I loved her. And the moment he prayed for me and said “I am thankful for Miss Elyssa!” The moments are endless, look for them, think about them, cherish them and be thankful.