It’s the little things
It’s the little things about Elliott that take my breath away…it’s the little things that I love.
That’s such a cliche term, I almost hate to write it. But that’s all I could think about all day long…Those few words, running through my head all day. It’s the little things about Elliott that I simply adore.
I mean, it’s not like I thought that I wouldn’t be proud of my son until he graduates from high school or attends Oxford or holds a doctorate or…I’ve never consciously had the thought, “I’ll be proud of him when…” But today I am just struck anew at how proud I am of my son, every moment of the day. I find myself saying that to him over and over and over again: “I am so proud of you, my son!!”
Elliott has been kind of obsessed with diapers for a little while now. And, I’m pretty sure the fetish is my fault. You see, it all started because Brian and I could never decide whether or not we should get a diaper genie when Elliott was born, and so now instead of throwing away his diapers in his room, we just throw them away in the downstairs garbage which keeps the smell in just fine until we change it, which is somewhat frequently. Anyway, so because there’s no trash can next to his changing table, I throw the diaper out the door and usually kick it downstairs with my foot. Ridiculous, I know. But when you’re pregnant and carrying a toddler, you’ll do anything to minimize the amount of times you bend over in a day :). But all that to say, Elliott loved watching me kick it downstairs, and soon became obsessed with diapers. (Hmm, now that I think of that, maybe that’s why he’s so in to kicking soccer balls!)
Anyway, the revelation finally hit me last week with a solution that would give Elliott the joy of fondling his dirty diapers and me the luxury of not bending over again: I can teach him to throw his own diapers away!! So the training began and within two diaper changes I had my man :). He happily picks up his diaper, toddles over to the trash can, and on the count of three, he throws it in. And of course, praise and applauds in copious amounts always follow. Because I am so proud of my son.
He was so overcome with the concept of throwing his diaper away the other day that he, in all of his excitement, threw away one of his toys shortly after tossing his diaper. So I quickly pulled it out of the trash and explained to him that we were done throwing things away; that there are some things that are trash that we throw away, and other things that are not trash that don’t go in the trash can. You literally could see the light bulb go on above his head: he quickly looked to the left, then to the right, saw a piece of leftover food on the ground, ran over and picked it up, headed back over to the trash can, and threw it away.
And my heart simply rejoiced over him, overflowing in abundance and pride. I am so proud of my son.
Today I needed to change Elliott’s diaper. I was sitting in the play room on the floor with him and I said, “Come here please, Elliott. I need to change your diaper.” He walked away from me at first, but only to grab a toy and come right back to me. And then he laid down in front of me all on his own. I was so overwhelmed at his simple, yet profound, act of obedience that I almost picked him back up, smothered him with kisses and told him to go play because I was so proud of him. But instead, I exhorted and praised him as I wiped the fresh poop off his bottom, more charmed with him than ever before. (And then, of course, he threw away his diaper…) I am so proud of my son.
This afternoon we went for a walk outside and Elliott was thrilled to have a few close encounters with his favorite animal: the “BBBUUUURRRR!!!!” (Bird) When I asked him if he wanted to talk to the birds, he quickly responded with, “teet, teet, teet!” I am so proud of my son.
Every day when I think Elliott is ready for a nap, I ask him, “Elliott, are you ready for a rest?” And every day, no matter what he’s doing, he drops everything and walks toward the stairs. He crawls up the stairs, heads to his room, patiently sucks his thumb while I change his diaper, lays his head down on my shoulder for a (very quick) snuggle, and then dives for his crib. Every day. I am so proud of my son.
But you know the underlying reason why I’m so proud of my son? Because he was created to be a learner, and he is taking joy in learning every day. And that’s why I’m proud. Not because of what he does, but because of who he is. Because he’s walking in the fullness right now. And that’s my goal as a mom: to always create an environment where my son–my children!–can become the fullness of who God created them to be. And right now, God is showing me how much Elliott LOVES to LEARN. So I am focused on creating a home where he can.
And in the meantime, he takes my breath away. With these “little things.” Every little word he so passionately speaks. Every little step he so awkwardly toddles. Every little kiss he plants on my lips, open-mouthed. Every little laugh that bubbles out so hard it takes over his whole body. Every little thing.
Happy 14 month birthday (yesterday), my little learner!!