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Noticing the small things

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Andrew Tolson
  • 375th Operations Support Squadron
Today my son did something amazing. To properly illustrate I want you to either do this as I explain it or imagine it happening. He takes his right index finger and sticks it out as though he was pointing at something. Next, he takes his finger and places it in his mouth. Here comes the amazing part. He closes his mouth around his finger and blows on it. The resulting noise from this action makes a remarkable fart noise. This is truly a happy day for me. My son has figured out how to make fart noises. If you are saying to yourself "gross" or "are you serious" I would respond "it is cute" and "yes."

I have been active duty Air Force for seven years now. I have been happily married for more than six years, to the same woman. I am taking classes and staying busy with work. Our son is almost four years old and we are expecting another little one in November so there is a decent amount going on in my little world.

When there is a lot going on it becomes increasingly difficult to pay attention to the little things. Not every person may see this little stunt by my son as a big deal and maybe even a few would be upset by it. I think my mom would have smacked me upside the head for making that noise. I don't know that my mom had the same perspective I have.

I am a huge proponent of putting things in perspective. I try to understand the negatives in my life and I try exceptionally hard to put those negatives in perspective. I believe many folks out there would support my approach to unfavorable situations and in some similar way practice it themselves. There are times in our lives when a huge event or a storm passes over us and changes our life forever. A huge storm shook my life a few years ago. This storm changed the way I handle situations and my perspectives. Five years ago I would not have been happy my son was making obscene sounds in public places. I likely would have verbally punished him and went on with my day but today I am a much different person.

In late 2009 I was told by one of the top neurologists in the country that my son was being diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The diagnosis is not entirely accurate. We have no idea what is causing his disabilities, however, to get proper care he needed the label of cerebral palsy. On his own he cannot walk, stand, sit or do most of the things we do every single day. On the other hand he can communicate with us in limited ways and with assistance he can move around like a normal little boy. Just about every morning he wakes up with a huge smile on his face and looking forward to breakfast, he takes after me in that category. My son is truly happy. I am going to present my son's tremendous accomplishment again. Today, my son figured out how to stick his finger in his mouth and make a fart noise.

I cannot wait until tomorrow to see him do it again, especially in crowded public places. One of the greatest lessons I have learned from my son is that the little things are sometimes the most important. When was the last time you were so excited about some of the smallest accomplishments you or your loved ones have done? Take the time to notice the small things.