A few weeks ago I received a package in the mail from my three year-old grandson, Reuben. Okay, so his mom addressed it for him, but it was his idea to send it, so yah, it was from Reuben.
Inside the package was a wooden birdhouse—the kind you get at the dollar store to paint and decorate. And was it ever! Each wall of the birdhouse was different, but the one I want to talk about today was the one that had a little blue handprint on it.
This little blue handprint was the result of Reuben allowing Olivia to smear blue paint all over his hand so that he could make the impression on the birdhouse. Big deal, you say. Lots of kids have done that. Yes, I know, but to Reuben it really was a big deal. It was a really big deal because ordinarily Reuben wants and needs things to be ‘as they are supposed to be’. Paint isn’t supposed to be on your hands. It is supposed to be on brushes and paper and walls. So for him to consent to throwing conventionality out the window was HUGE to him—a major accomplishment.
And when his reply to Olivia when she asked him what he wanted to do with the birdhouse after they were done with it, was, “Send it to Nanna”, well that was huge to me. J
What accomplishments are huge to your kids? Do you even know? And more importantly, do you recognize them as such? Do you applaud the milestones they reach even though they may not seem like a big deal to someone else? Do you recognize and celebrate the hurdles they clear when they conquer a fear or try something outside of their comfort zone? Do you let them know you appreciate and respect the efforts they make?
So while I know a little blue hand may not seem like much to some of you, I’m just as sure your kids have their own ‘little blue hand’ they need you to encourage them to experience and celebrate with them when they do. The question is, will you?
PS: Stay tuned next week for Little Blue Hand: The Sequal
Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.