Many years before I was The Mama Bird, I was Aunt Sa. My first niece was born in 1998 - the year before I graduated from college. She attended my graduation in the sweetest little white dress, with the most darling little curls, barely walking, in her little white shoes. In two days I will watch her cheer at a Big 10 football game.
Time has flown.
Since then, there have been A BUCKET OF additional nieces and nephews added all of whom I see on a regular basis. I could tell you little stories that have touched my heart about every single one of them. But today I want to tell you just one that happened this weekend at my house.
My youngest is 5. He loves his cousin Bivy. He wants to be by her side whenever they are together. At dinner Sunday night I walked into the dining room to see him smiling, sitting next to her. Then he got up and said, "Bivy, I have to show you something!" He left the dining room, went to the refrigerator for milk, got a cup out of the cabinet,and then walked back to the entrance of the dining room. He placed the cup on the floor and looked up at her and said, "Bivy, are you watching?" Then he poured his own glass of milk. She said, "Wow, Critter, I can't even do that."
It was totally darling.
But then it got even cuter. I sat at the table a moment and listened to them talk about the honor of pouring yourself a cup of milk, without spilling it. Another of my nieces said, "You know what I do, I put the cup near the sink so then if it tips over it is real easy to clean up the mess." The Happy Critter and Bivy were impressed by her intelligent suggestion.
After everyone left and I was cleaning up the house, that little moment struck me again. How incredibly sweet it is to be proud of the things we accomplish. How incredibly ignorant I am for not acknowledging better the small tasks he is checking off his own list every day. Sometimes the youngest gets the short end of the stick - fewer accolades with everyone else already able to do everything on their own. This year he has learned to buckle his own seat belt and pour his own glass of milk, and he is so proud of himself he showed off to Bivy.
They really are the sweetest things. These kids. Their moments. Cherish them, mama birds.