Never before in my life have I believed the phrase, "It's the little things that count" as much as I do now that I'm a parent. Of course, I've always been appreciative of little favors or small words that are so kindly given, but now that I'm a first time mother of a lovely, wiggly 15mo boy, I feel the "little things" in such a different way.
Sleep. I once had a lovely, dear, calming friend named Sleep. We were best friends. We'd spend rainy afternoons together, we'd catch up on the weekends, sometimes we'd even put off seeing each other until the wee hours of the night, only to spend plenty of time together the following morning, even inviting our other dear friend, "Leisurely Brunch". I wonder about these friends from time to time, and wonder how they've been these past 15 months or so. When I think about "the little things" I think about how grateful I am to have a fantastic husband, who provides me with many things to be grateful for. Including, sleep. Last weekend, after a rough night of baby cries and multiple wakes, he said, "Sleep." And for 75 glorious minutes, that's just what I did.
Gifts. I'm not usually a gift person. In fact, since my husband and I have been together, (around 8 years) we've never really celebrated Christmas in the gift-giving way. For birthdays? Dinner out. Valentines? A hug. To the point, we just don't spend the money on the little gift type things. I'm okay with that and he's okay with that. It's just the way we do it. In fact, I often dislike gifts! However, after a tough, late, demanding couple of days, he showed up yesterday, flowers in hand. Granted, they were flowers that he cut from a bush, from a job site (he works construction) where the bush was about to be demolished anyway, but it was something. A little something, that counted as a big something. I smiled and gave him a hug. I was grateful to know that my stresses and feelings of being overwhelmed, weren't overlooked.
Food. We may not do gifts often in our house, but we sure do food! We both love to cook and we both love to dine out. Since becoming a mother to a lovely, but very clingy little one, it's been hard for me to find a moment where I have two hands free. Often, our son sees me from across the room, shouts "Mama!" and I'm lost in sweet hugs, cuddles, squeals, and pounding blocks... hungry. A quick snack? Nope. If I step more than 4 feet away from him, there will be loads of tears and 15 minutes of trying to gain his composure again. Forget making dinner. The churning pit in my stomach is a frequent feeling from 4pm-7pm. Once he's down for the night, I feel like a wild animal, attacking the pantry for anything consumable. Instead, my husband amazingly steps in, allowing me to roll around on the floor with trains, elephants, books, and blocks, while he preps and begins dinner. It may not seem like a huge deal to many, but to a tired, ravenous mama, who rarely has two hands and two minutes to herself, it means the world.
The little things? They matter... now more than ever. And I, mother, teacher, wife, am utterly grateful to be in love with someone who knows just which little things matter the most as well as when they are most needed.