I’ve been mulling over the coming new year and what that means to me as a mom. What it means to me as Everley’s mom. Naturally, I think about the new shoes and outfits she’ll be able to wear; the dresses I bought her when she was tiny and she probably won’t fit them till this summer; the dolls she’ll play with more than she does now and the skills she’ll discover the more she plays; the bigger smiles and the louder giggles that she’s sure to produce; the adventures we’ll take together on play dates and family vacations…
It will be a whole new year of exciting discovery with EveyMarie, and I am ready!
More than just the fun stuff… I’m mulling over what I want her to know about the world around her, even at this early age, and what I want her to understand about herself and others.
One simple little thing that I’ve been noticing lately in our interactions – which does have to do with the world, herself, and others- is saying “Thank you.” I am practicing the art of “Thank you” as often as I can with her. “Thank you for sharing your toy,” “Thank you for not throwing your food,” “Thank you for patting me on the back,” “Thank you for sharing me a kiss,” “Thank you for being nice.” I want her to understand the value of gratitude. And it takes root even at 16 months of age.
Another thing I’ve been working on is “clean up.” This concept is easier for some children than others; sometimes it’s taught and sometimes it’s not, and some kids naturally do it and some just don’t. In our case, the house is very small, and my husband and I like to keep things orderly as much as possible, so I’ve been showing The Little Person how to pick up her toys and put them in the bin when she is finished. Before we get out of the tub for nightnight, we put all of the toys back into the bin, and we sing a little clean up tune while we do it. She’s acclimated to this well, and my goal is for her to understand even at a young age the value of cleaning up after oneself, the value of helping others do the job, and the value of organizing items into suitable spaces.
The new year will hold so much, and I resist the temptation to fear the unknown. How was I to know that 2014 would be such a devastating and horrific year? how was I to know that 2015 would be mixed with grief and turmoil and joy? Those were two extremely difficult years for our family and our marriage. It’s easy for me to sink back into despair and doubt.
But I’m choosing to hold onto what I know and to delight in what God has given me for now. There could be good things just around the corner… and if not, I’ll love just the same.