It had been a really long day. I had a newborn, and our daughter Emily was in the midst of potty training. When she wet her pants for the fifth time that day, I did not think I could handle it anymore.
I angrily marched her to the bathroom, sat her on the toilet, and mumbled something about how she needed to be a big girl.
I’m ashamed to say, as I look back on this experience, that my anger brought her to tears.
As I stood there in the tiny bathroom with my arms folded across my chest, she looked up at me with her big brown eyes and said—
“But Mommy, I’m only a little bit big.”
It stopped me cold. My mood, my attitude, my perspective were all changed in that moment. I scooped her up and just held her, telling her how sorry I was for getting angry.
I knew I had been tough on her since I’d had the baby, and I had felt our relationship suffering because of my negativity.
But it wasn’t until this exchange that I realized where I had gone wrong and what I could do to make things better. I was expecting too much of her.
She was right; she was only a little bit big. And I needed to make sure my expectations of her were realistic.
I went on from this day changed for the better. It didn’t make this stage of life easier. The potty accidents and sleepless nights didn’t disappear—as much as I wish I could say they did! But my ability to handle them improved.
It’s moments like this one that change me—almost as much as I’ve been changed by the “big” days in my life. The day I left home. My wedding day. The day each of my children were born.
But what affects me most today—right now—are these small moments of realization.
When I begin to understand someone else’s point of view. When I align my expectations with reality.
When a line in a book stands out to me and answers a question in my heart. When a late-night conversation with my husband changes the course I’d been taking.
When I look at my children and catch a glimpse of who they really are and realize just how big they’re getting.
It’s the quiet, easy-to-miss moments that happen within the walls of my home that are changing me.
These moments are not often celebrated; pictures aren’t taken to mark the occasion. But they are recorded in my mind and written on my heart forever.
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