A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Small (and Not-So-Small) Blessings

Posted on: April 20, 2015

The first grey or white hair.

The first laugh lines.

Income tax deadlines.

Weight gain.

Things can creep up on us until, with a shock, we notice them. But then that’s true of good things, too, like warmer weather and longer days, plants beginning to sprout in the garden, or a child’s fifteenth birthday.

Yes, my son recently had a birthday. As I said to my mother in an e-mail, “Can you believe that your baby’s baby is 15?”

When he was a colicky baby, or a toddler throwing tantrums, the days could seem pretty long, and I wondered whether I’d make it till he was grown up. No other challenge I’d faced could measure up to the challenge of parenting.

football warmup

My son warming up for a football game last fall

I can hardly believe that I’m the mother of a high school student who needs to shave regularly and can beat his dad at basketball.

Of course there are challenging times now and ahead of us: grumpy mornings, discussions about homework, the prospect of another driver in the house (less than a year away, my son has taken to reminding me). But I wonder whether I sometimes miss the small blessings while caught up in the day-to-day details.

When children are young, there are so many firsts to be thankful for: the first smile, laugh, step and word; the first haircut and first day of school; the first game or recital. We fill albums, real or virtual, with photos of every big or small moment. As they get older, the more gradual changes may pass almost unnoticed. And then, one day, we’re driving in the car, talking about dating or university or racism or the environment, and we realize this child is nearly a grown man or woman.

I pray we would notice and give thanks for the ways we are blessed each day that our children are part of our lives—and that we would share these blessings with our children.

Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

~ James 1:17*

(*Scripture quote taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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