Best of All Moments
BEST OF ALL is the daily challenge to do a little better than you did the day before. It is continual, measurable, celebrated and it never ends. I have asked some of our families to share their best of all moment with us and here are their stories:
Brittany and Ethan:
Ethan always needed mama to fall asleep. He wouldn’t drift off unless he had a snuggle or a hand to hold. When he napped, he would wake up and yell at me to come get him out of bed! Until one day, I was reading a good book in the living room and out comes my sleepy boy rubbing his eyes and climbing onto my lap. It was the first time he ever got himself out of bed and in that moment he was so big to me. Those little moments are the best of all!
Chris and Chad:
When Chad was younger (and not even that long ago) and another child was upset, he would try his best to just remove himself from the situation. He would ask to go to the bathroom, want to leave, any excuse to get away from the person who was sad or upset. Last year in high school there was a girl in his class that would frequently get emotionally upset, and Chad was the only one who could calm her down. Chad would call her “Precious” and tell her jokes to make her smile. Whenever the girl would start crying, the teachers would ask Chad to go and talk to her. He would do it without hesitation. Somehow he managed to get over his own anxiety to help another child who needed it more. When the teachers told me about it, I couldn’t believe it. He makes me proud every day!
Gina, Gracyn and Gage:
Gracyn had a “Best of All” moment this week when she tested and advanced to the second level in the ATA Tiger class for Taekwondo. Gracyn and her brother Gage began Taekwondo last spring and are now at the Ara level. They absolutely love it! I knew Taekwondo was a good fit for Gracyn when after only one month of instruction I found her in her room “playing Taekwondo” and giving all of her dolls and stuffed animals a Taekwondo lesson! She was even doing her very best to recite every word from the Tiger Promise that they say at the beginning and end of each class. I couldn’t be more proud of Gracyn and Gage and I know their instructors, Mr. and Mrs. Girton, feel the same way. Mrs. Girton had this to say in a recent email to me:“The kids’ awesome attitude, dedicated spirit, and developing coordination help make them a great success in taekwondo. We absolutely love working with them.”Yay Gracyn and Gage! Keep giving it your Best of All!
Sally and Greta:
Greta has been playing a lot more with her dolls lately. Last week she named them all and arranged them, telling us they were ready for circle time. We love to see the pretending!
Kim and Big C:
Big-C, our 3 year old with Down syndrome, has been drinking from a straw for over two years. We have been trying to teach him how to drink from an open cup. We offer him an open cup at all our meals. He’s able to pick up a cup and bring it to his pursed lips and tip the cup up to bring the milk to his mouth. He is not able to take an actual drink. Typically we congratulate him for trying to drink and then offer him a straw to be able to finish his drink. Tonight was different….Tonight we wanted him to work a little harder so we tried to do a little better for him. We let him know that he was not getting a straw, instead needed to keep trying to drink out of the open cup. He was upset at first. As the meal continued he tried a little more. At the finish of the meal he even allowed me to help him with support under his chin and at his cheeks to encourage an actual drink. He was actually able to take real drinks from the cup! We still have a ways to go, but we made a few steps forward tonight.
Jamie and Reed:
When I worked with Reed we would practice vocabulary everyday. Usually I would say the word and Reed would repeat it. One day he decided he wanted to lead and he started saying words like tree, cloud, rain, sun and I started to repeat him. I could tell his wheels were spinning as he looked around the room trying to find things he knew the word for. Every time I repeated the word and it was wrong, he would say “no”, until I got it right. When I got the words right he would let out his little infectious giggle that makes me smile ear to ear. I could tell he enjoyed being the leader and I could see how proud he was. He started to catch on to many things after this, including emotions. If I would pretend to cry he would come over and pat me on the back and say “hug”. He has grown SO much over the past year and I can’t wait to see what he does next!
Jaclyn and Holden:
Loving a person with Down syndrome is truly a blessing. Because of Holden, we live differently and we love differently. He has taught us so many things in his three-and-half years of life. One thing in particular we’ve learned is to slow down and enjoy the moment. We find ourselves staring in amazement at his small strides, celebrating little achievements and recognizing that he gives his best at everything. And his best is not measured by pediatric charts or developmental guidelines but rather his own progress from a year ago, a month ago or even a day ago. Holden works hard at doing things we take for granted. Holden’s persistence and perseverance are characteristics of Holden; not a diagnosis, but rather his personality. This picture is a small example of how he can do whatever he wants if he sets his mind to it. It may take us longer to leave the house but he does it with pride because he can put his shoes and socks on … by himself.
Tami and Cody:
Cody has had many best of all moments at GiGi’s Playhouse. This is where he first crawled up a stair, went down a slide, played with a parachute and more. Best of all he has made friends of all abilities. Some are adults, some are siblings and some are other children with DS. These are a few photos from Cody’s first Halloween party! This was at GiGi’s playhouse last year. Cody’s best of all are meeting and making friends!
Jennifer and Reed:
Reed has been talking more and more lately and forming small sentences. It started with ” go grandmas house”and the other day I heard him say” like diamond in the sky”. He is counting beyond 10 and can recite the ABC’s! We are so proud of his progress and love to see his vocabulary growing!