Everyone always says it’s about the little things but until you experience it yourself that saying lacks meaning, it lacks depth, it lacks heart. Sometimes it takes missing the little things to make you realize just exactly what the little things are. For example, my oldest son has spina bifida. He was born just a few weeks apart from a couple of my friends’ babies. With each milestone they hit he lagged behind or didn’t hit at all. I remember being at the hospital at primary children’s hospital and telling the doctor “He moves his feet just like any other baby”. The look on the doctor’s face seemed to show both concern for my heart as well as concern for my mind as he adamantly stated “No he does not” and went on to explain both normal reflexes and normal movements. The reality of this hit when I watched my friend’s baby in his carseat a few weeks later just a wigglin his feet as his mother said “his feet are like another set of hands!!” Oh how I wished my baby’s feet would move like that.
Months later their babies started to cruise around and walk while mine continued therapy and got his first pair of leg braces. What I remember longing for the most though was to hold my little man’s hand as he learned to walk but instead he needed a walker. We could never walk hand in hand as I saw the other moms do with their tottling tot.So you can bet when my next babies came I was thrilled with every milestone they hit. My heart still ached for my son, that will never go away, but my heart was overjoyed that they had the ability to hit each of these milestones and I was and am happy for the freedom and independence that gives them.
I now have another boy. He is the spitting image of his older brother. He is ten months old and has learned to walk. Yesterday we walked hand in hand and though my heart still felt a little sad I enjoyed and soaked up every minute of it. Walking at his pace. Happy to slow down mine.
Minutes later we came to a hill going downward. My oldest son had left his crutches in our truck which was getting fixed. He held my hand for balance as he walked down the hill. I may not have been able to walk hand in hand with him when he was a tiny toddler but as his walking progressed I did eventually get to walk with him hand in hand and the moment did not pass me by without my notice and my gratitude. If I look at the bright side, I get to hold my son’s hand for much much longer than most moms. Not many 9 year old boys want to walk hand in hand with their mom. Even my cute son will let go as soon as he feels stable. I enjoy the moments he leans on me just a bit and holds my hand for support. I wish he didn’t need it but I’m happy to offer it and enjoy the moments I get because of it.