I am a big fan of the little moments in life.
Sure, there are huge days in your life. When you're born, when you get married, when you have children. Then there are your firsts - first days of school, first dance, first job, first kiss, first love, first time you held your baby. And then there are the special days, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, special occasions.
Huge and special days are few and far between though, and what comes in the middle are ordinary days, uneventful days, even crappy days. It's so easy to view your life through a maze of bills, obligations and worries.
But there is something else sandwiched in between those mundane days. There are little moments. The hours, days, weeks, months and years of your life where nothing special happens
Maya, who is exhausted from the Jewish holidays and our break fast which lasted until the wee hours last night has just announced that she is tired and going to bed, but not before this little exchange took place about 20 minutes ago.
Maya: Mommy, do you want some sweet kisses?
Me: Of course I do
Maya: (kissing my cheek and looking up at me) Your makeup is beautiful today.
Me: That's sweet, thank you.
Maya: Why can't you wear your makeup to sleep?
Me: Because it will get the pillows dirty.
Maya: Ok, tomorrow you can do your makeup again and be so pretty, here, turn and look in the mirror and look how pretty you are mommy.
Me: Thank you baby.
Maya: Mommy, for my birthday party, maybe you can put some makeup on me so I can look pretty for my birthday party like you.
Me: Of course I will but you are already beautiful.
Maya: Giggling and in her sing-songy voice, good-night mom-mie!
I decided to post this to make sure that I never forget this little exchange, not because my daughter thinks I am pretty but because it is so indicative of where her heart is. She may be behind on her milestones, she may struggle with learning and with understanding the world around her, processing that world and filtering out the endless barrage of sensory information that flies at her during all her waking moments. These are challenges, they are huge challenges and all the little sweet exchanges in the world cannot whitewash that she is a child with serious challenges, which may define how much she can achieve.
But in matters of the heart, she is fully developed, hitting every milestone on time, she is exactly where she should be.
I know I get on here a lot and talk about the hardships of raising a child with autism, I do talk about triumphs and progress but I also talk a lot about worry and fear.
It's in these little moments like the one a few minutes ago that the stuff of life is made of, not in the birthdays or anniversaries, not in the Kodak moments. It's here, every day where my daughter step by step becomes who she is going to be. Sure, I want my daughter to find a way to master the other stuff too and I will keep doing everything I can to help her get there, where ever her particular brand of 'there' may be.
'There' is a long road, an endless journey, one where we often get lost, have flat tires, run out of gas and don't check the oil and where sometimes the only nourishment are the day-old cinnamon rolls at Stuckeys
In my daughter's heart however, she is flying a magic carpet, soaring above the clouds with blue sky all around her.
I am so very grateful for that.