Being Complacent

Sometimes it seems like I’m too busy changing diapers, distributing baby Tylenol, and keeping children from putting inappropriate items in their mouths to really appreciate what I’ve got.

I’ve got two healthy, happy kids.

Unfortunately, it’s something that I tend to get rather complacent and forgetful about. I get so wrapped up in potty-training the Munchkin that I miss the fact that she is going to be 27 months next week. Yet we can sit her on a potty and she can (when she wants to) pee. I get so intent on getting small toys out of Baby Boy’s reach that I don’t take the time to rejoice in the fact that he is seven months old and crawling well enough to get into his sister’s toys.

Fortunately, God has little ways of reminding me just how good I’ve got it.

One little way might be a post by Julie, on the development of her prematurely born son. Another might be reading the heartbreaking story and posts on Dear Elena, the blog written by a father who suddenly lost his six-year-old daughter last month. Or it can be something like a conversation I had last Sunday with another mother at church, about her child who I have been watching in the nursery these last few weeks.

“I just wanted to talk to you,” she said, “because you know (Kid) and you’ve been in here the last several weeks. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but he’s showing signs of being developmentally delayed.”

Floored, I replied that I really hadn’t noticed. Kid is two and hasn’t struck me as being abnormal, but he hates it when his parents leave him (which is pretty normal in the nursery for any child).

Sadly, the mother told me that he has not yet talked. Not a word. When I thought about it, I have never heard him speak, yet he can make himself understood fairly well, plus he constantly has his pacifier in his mouth, so I just thought that was keeping him quieter than he would be than, say, at home.

“He doesn’t use a pacifier at home,” the mother told me. “We’re just being proactive and getting him some speech therapy help now because he’s not hitting his milestones. I just thought that you should know, since you are in here a lot right now.”

I was deeply reflective for the rest of the day, especially as I watched the Munchkin show off for her Grandma and Gichan that evening when they were over for dinner. She sang, danced, and challenged her Gichan to a wrestling match. Baby Boy, the unhappy teether, still managed to smile for everyone and crawl around before just wanting to be cuddled. He snuggled up on his Grandma and fell asleep.

Just watching them, with the new information in my mind, made me painfully aware of how blessed I am. I have never struggled to conceive a child, or to maintain a pregnancy. I have never had to agonize over a preemie – the Munchkin and Baby Boy were both healthy and full-term newborns (with the Munchkin taking her sweet time, arriving four days late) – like Julie has. I have never experienced the death of a child, watching the promise of life snuffed out in one short illness, like Elena’s parents. And I’ve watched the Munchkin walk at nine months, say her first word at ten, and hit all of her milestones either early or on time. Baby Boy is doing nearly everything at the same pace as his sister. The biggest concern that I’ve ever heard our pediatrician express about either of them was a request to keep an eye on Baby Boy’s tendency to go cross-eyed when he was two months old – something he had outgrown by four months.

I shouldn’t be complacent about my kids. But it’s so easy, in the hectic pace of life, to forget. Among the dirty diapers, the sleepless nights, the teething woes, the temper tantrums and the toys strewn all over the house, it’s easy to forget all the things that I have taken for granted.

They are healthy. They are growing. They are here, and they are mine and the Webmaster’s.

I hope – and pray – that I never forget, even in the most exasperating moments, just how blessed I am.

One Response to “Being Complacent”

  1. MetroDad
    March 22nd, 2006 10:37

    Excuse me, Deanna, while I go run home and hug my little girl!

    But you’re so right. Every day, I think about how blessed and lucky I am. I try to never take that for granted.