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There's Hope For Me Yet!

This past week, I was blessed to be able to listen to a fabulous presenter, Will Parnell, Director of the Helen Gordon Child Development Center at Portland State University.  During his talk, he discussed how we, as adults, can look at our children not as children of needs, but children of rights.  With this approach, we can actively listen to our children and involve them in society instead of assuming that they are helpless and are in constant need of our assistance.  Even at a very young age, children have possibilities.  We just have to listen to them - even when they can't speak for themselves.

As a mom, there are days that go by when I wonder where the hope is for me.  My Sweet Pea is either not sleeping well, not eating well, not building her vocabulary, not crawling, not walking...you get the point: she's not doing what I see other kids her age doing.  I know, I know...every child develops at a different rate.  You hear this over and over from other parents, relatives, friends, doctors, nurses, etc.  But, does any mom really truly believe this?  We try to tell ourselves that we do - or at least I did.  However, in the back of my mind, there was always that lingering question, "What am I doing wrong?"  I didn't think that my child could tell me the answer to this question...after all, she has very few words she can say.

Well, today, I am here to say that there is hope for me yet! Earlier this month, we celebrated Sweet Pea's first birthday.  It's hard to believe that one year has already passed.  The days may go by slowly, but the year sped past.  And, I can't believe all that's happened.  I won't name everything she can do now...then I may start lamenting about what she still can't do.  However, I look at how far we've come and how her little personality is now surpassed where I ever thought it would take us in a year.  Each day may seem slow, but during those days, she's been observing, learning, and taking everything in.  It may have taken her a bit longer to get to some places than other kids, but she's getting there in her own time (just as during labor!).  She is overcoming obstacles.  And, the best part is, I see her enjoying each and every thing she encounters.  I just had to actively listen to her to realize all of this.

My child has shown me through her play, her expressions, her body language, her laughter, her cries, her temper tantrums, and so much more that I am not doing things wrong.  No, this is not the answer to that lingering question.  The answer is quite the opposite...I'm doing things right!!  I just need to realize that growth and development take time.  These things do not always occur overnight - at least not in the way that I often hope.  Just as it took time for my child to develop within my womb, it now takes time for her to develop outside of it.

So, to all of you moms who may have this same question lingering within your mind.  Take heart, there is hope for all of us yet!  We just need to listen with more than our ears!

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