Last week, I decided to tackle the four boxes of paperwork that had been relegated to a corner of my office since my file cabinet fell apart. I, like many moms, saved Ryan’s papers, reports, classroom assignments, and report cards going back to Pre-School. I even had his art projects from his days in Happy Hearts Toddler Childcare! My initial reaction was, “Some of these papers are 20 years old; why should I be saving them?” However, as I began reading, I was enthralled by the stories that were unfolding before me. So many of these moments had been forgotten, it was almost like reading a book. Some were happy, some were sad, but by the time I finished reading his 12th grade file I was thoroughly pleased and proud of Ryan and the way his story has evolved.
So often, I am asked about Ryan’s future. This is a worry of all parents, but especially for parents of children with disabilities. It’s very easy to allow these concerns to overshadow the achievements and successes that your child experiences. So I decided that for my New Year’s resolution I would take a moment every day to celebrate how far Ryan has come. No, I’m not going to stop planning for the future; but I am going to focus on his day-to-day accomplishments as well, feeling grateful that he is able to achieve so much and has been blessed with such an outstanding (albeit ever-changing) team since the beginning, helping to make his dreams come true.
I encourage you to find time in the coming year to pause and celebrate your child’s successes, too. Happy 2015!