Friday, December 5, 2014

Savouring the Little Things

Yesterday my post was filled with negativity.  I am not a negative person.  I don't want negativity to eat up any more of my life than is absolutely necessary.

So, today, I choose to relish and share, but a mere moment of the blessing I call Jacob.

Two days ago it was spaghetti night.  Spaghetti is one of Jacob's favorite foods of all times.  Bar none.  It's always a treat to watch him eat spaghetti.  Not because he makes a ridiculous mess (because he does), or because he refuses to use a fork (which is also true), but by the sheer revelry he displays when savoring every last bite of his meal.

We're not talking a pile of spaghetti the size of an egg.  No way!  Jacob eats as much spaghetti as I, a full grown adult, eat.  I understand that lots of kids with Ds don't have an 'off' switch with food.  And we have yet to determine if Jake is that way yet - basically because all the rest of his siblings are athletes (and GIANT athletes at that - Elisha is 5'10" and Nathan is 6'2 - at age 15) and eat more than a football team combined when they're home.  So I have nothing to gauge his eating habits off of yet.

Anyway, I digress.  Back to Jake and his spaghetti fetish.

So we sat him down with his rather large serving of spaghetti.  As the rest of the family finished their meal, I looked over to watch Jake who had been unusually quiet.  He took one strand of spaghetti between his thumb and pointer finger (great fine motor skill practice, by the way!) and slowly pulled the noodle from the plate.  Pulling...pulling...pulling until the twelve inch string was lifted as high as his stubby little arm would go, dangling just above his mouth, enticing him to bite.

After a few seconds of watching the noodle wiggle in the air, he slowly lowered the very tip into his mouth and bit down with his lips - not his teeth.  Don't want to break the noodle, after all.  Then, he sucked, slowly drawing it into his mouth, until only a few inches remained.   As he sucked, his eyes rolled back into his skull in absolute bliss, then he closed his eyelids, half smiling at the taste of his favorite food. Then he pulled the noodle out again, sans the sauce.

Next, he repeated step 1, however, this time, he sucked harder, letting go of the noodle with his hand, and allowing the strand to flip and flop around his mouth as it got shorter and shorter, and disappeared.  Smack!  All gone.

He took a moment to chew the soft pasta and swallow, then looked at his plate and half smiled again before rooting around for another perfect noodle to repeat the process.

As I watched Jake eating his spaghetti, I was struck by how important the little things are - not only to him - but to all of us.  If we continue to get caught up in all the big stuff - then how can we appreciate the little things?

If I continue to worry about making sure all of the bills are paid on time, or keeping the house spotless (which it is NOT) how can I appreciate the fact that my husband works DANG HARD to make sure that I have the opportunity to stay at home with our little ones full time? I get to make sure they know their alphabet, hold them when they wake up from their nightmares crying, laugh with them when they run circles in the living room chasing one another, teach them to be kind to others and to take responsibility for their actions, and raise them to be productive parts of society.  This is especially true with Jake because he needs just a smidgen more time than his siblings.  And I'm blessed with the opportunity to be that kind of mom because my husband makes it so.

 I am blessed to be able to watch Jake savor his spaghetti, or run around pretending to be a robot from Megamind, or run in circles when the music comes on, or drive Courtney to school and pick her up, and volunteer at her school once a week.  I'm blessed to be there when Nathan gets home every day and to be able to ask him about his day, and tease him about girls.

Ah, what a tremendously blessed life I have.  Thank you, Jacob.  For showing me it's the little things in life worth enjoying.  All those little things begin to add up into one great big - giant even - epiphany of happiness.   Life is good.

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