You often hear Mums of special-needs kiddies talking about appreciating the little things more! I have certainly talked about this here on my blog before. And it's true, when milestones are so hard-earned the journey towards them becomes broken into many tiny steps, all magical, celebrated and attention grabbing.
But it's not just the tiny steps of achievement we get to celebrate. Not every milestone of accomplishment is a slow slog through challenge. Sometimes you get the great big, gob smacking, 'I can't quite believe this' achievement that literally blows you away!
Like the time Tilly took part in a swimming gala with confidence and calmness and even won a race!
Or how about the surprise phone call from her school asking permission to move her into year two early! I listened with amazement as I was told she was achieving so much academically her current class wasn't suitable!
She has become her school's youngest ever child to enter the school's reading programme and now with an age appropriate reading level she is going from strength to strength! Tilly used to eat books...now look at her!
Or how about running on sand this year, happy and with no meltdown! Or riding a donkey by herself down a beach, her face lost in smiles!
There was that magical carousel ride, laughter throughout, no tantrums, no emergency stopping of the ride.
Then I think about her relationship with her little brother! I had been so worried she wouldn't cope with a new sibling so much younger and yet their relationship is astonishing, love filled and heart-stoppingly beautiful! Busby is the only person in the world who could step on her hair or wake her up accidentally and get away with it! A whispered 'I'm sorry' from little boy can quash any meltdown and is normally followed by a bear hug and 'Oh come here you darling pie!' from his big sister! They have even been known to feed each other!
There are the friendships she has, friends she adores so much she tries to squeeze them to pieces!
The fun and laughter she has daily with her sister!
The times she amazes me with her unique imagination like the time she insisted on going to the 'Pirate and Princess' birthday party as a 'pirate princess!' beard, eye-patch and tutu a must have!
Her sense of humour, epic, overflowing and oh so knowing....don't try to sneak sarcastic humour past my big girl, she'll get the joke first!
The way she suddenly decided that paint and craft was OK and out of the blue asked to make things, her fear of mess seemingly evaporated!
The way she always finds time to stop and smell the flowers and even kiss them sometimes as well.
The endless party invitations she gets, her love of discos, jelly and party games legendary. The way she has sussed out how to win every time, hysterical funny to watch!
The letter home to let us know she had been voted by her school peer group to sit on the school council! That moment when I walked into school and saw a framed picture of her in this role on the entrance wall, will remain etched in this proud Mummy's heart forever! My little councillor proudly sporting her badge saying 'ask me'!
The way this year she has become a helping super star, washing-up, washing the car, folding laundry...Tilly's my girl!
And always and forever her smile, her cuddles, her hugs and her joyous soul!
Tilly I will always love you to the moon and back and thank you not only for the tiny moments of magic but for all these huge magic-filled surprises that knock my socks off on a regular basis! You are my super-star!