“Use Your Words” , A life lesson to live by

It’s a typical school day morning, and I am in the kitchen double checking Zoe’s lunch bag, snack bag, toiletry bag- loading her backpack . I glance up, over the kitchen counter, just in time to see Zoe, who is hovering nearby in her walker. She is smiling and elaborately shaking her groove thing to the background music of Radio Disney . Our eyes meet and she calls out, “ I looove being me!”

And for a moment, I just stop. Stunned. Here is this child of mine, who 2 hours ago, pre-snack, pre-breakfast was too tired to get out of bed. A kid who for every act of movement, the greatest effort is demanded- and yet this is how she goes through life.. with her walker, with her wheelchair, with enthusiasm, with laughter, with an energy born from natural spirit , an energy that her body cannot match.

Our life is busy, it is full of movement, decisions, appointments, being nearby, on call, on hand- and within all this activity, the power of our words can get lost amidst the action.

But there stood Zoe, reminding me of this , declaring “ I love being me!” Reminding me  again ,when she asked me the other day.. “ Do you think I can do it?” and I replied “ Yes, I know you can. Do your best, and have fun- and that is all that matters”. “ Okay..” she agreed, adding her own signature thumbs up .

A few days ago I was helping Zoe get dressed when I noticed how she was evaluating herself in the mirror. “ You know what I love about your face? “ I asked her , peeking over her shoulder from behind and joining her own image in the mirror. “ What? she asked. Curious.“ Your smile..and the way it can light up a room” And  just then, it did.. it was that easy.

It was the next day when Zoe surprised me by asking “ You know what my favorite thing about you is Mom?… The way you hug me all the time.” Her words stayed with me all day.

And then there was the card that Zoe made her Daddy on Veteran’s Day.. carefully hand written in her extra large print..” Thank You Daddy for serving our country”.Tears  slowly trickled down his face as he read her words, then pulled her into his lap.

There were Olivia’s carefully written words in cursive, her fifth grade religion assignment where I read what she had written about Zoe “ My sister is my hero because she is a fighter and strong in spirit.

And there was some stolen time this week, shared between my husband and I . A few minutes of quiet, we spent connecting. I told him what I thought I wasn’t doing well – and how I needed help. Ten minutes later, I felt better, and his help made it better.

It’s an important life lesson we begin by teaching our toddlers.. but somehow forget along the way, when life gets busy and the days go fast… It’s a lesson worth rediscovering, remembering to live by.. the power we all have to .. “ Use Your Words.”

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