Discovering the Gift of Simple Moments: Ways to Create Special Family Memories
Discovering the gift of simple moments while raising kids with special needs requires a new set of eyes. Kristin Faith Evans is learning to capture those moments and share them with her family. She explains how she does it in this post.
“Fireflies, Honey. It’s fireflies!”
My ten-year-old daughter, Bethany Grace, and I were swinging on the front porch. Lightning bugs began to dance around the yard. I marveled at her anticipation for the next one to flash. Then the next. Every time, her face lit up like the glow from the bug, and so did mine. We had never really stopped to just sit and watch fireflies before.
We created this special memory in the Summer of 2020, when the Covid pandemic taught our family even more about the gift of enjoying simple moments together. Both of my children live with rare genetic disorders and complex medical conditions. So, going into isolation was not even a question for our family.
We began to create a fun backyard adapted to Bethany Grace’s abilities. We repaired the playset, added a firepit and furniture, installed a small above-ground pool, and planted a garden. We even placed chairs and a swing on our front porch. We spent more time playing outside together in the following four months than we had in the past seven years combined.
Discovering the Gift of Simple Moments by Living in the Present
I often find myself worrying about Bethany Grace’s future and grieving the loss of a typical family life. She was born with a severe chromosomal disorder called Cri du Chat Syndrome which causes significant intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, and medical fragility. Due to frequent medical emergencies, we do not know how much longer we will have to spend with her. And I will never experience those big moments—planning her wedding or witnessing her baby’s birth. But I have realized that living in future worry and sadness pulls me away from enjoying my family today. I have discovered that the little present moments are what really create deep meaning and purpose in my life.
Discovering the Gift of Simple Moments by Creating Opportunities
Intentionally slowing down and living in the present can help us discover ways to enjoy simple moments together. Here are some ideas for creating special family memories (adapt according to your family’s needs):
- Plan fun theme meals
- Hold little celebrations
- Sit on the porch
- Have a picnic in the yard or living room
- Play a game at dinner
- Watch a movie on the floor with blankets and pillows
- Cook a meal at the table (fondue, pancakes on an electric griddle, etc.)
- Go for a walk
- Build a fire pit
- Plant a garden
- Gaze at the stars
- Watch fireflies
- Look for glimpses of God’s beauty
Those fireflies glowed for only a brief moment in time; but that memory we made together will last forever. Simply stopping to swing on the porch together created the opportunity for us to experience that magical moment.
What ideas do you have that could help other families create a space for discovering the gift of simple moments and special family memories?
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Kristin lives with her husband, Todd, and their two children in the Nashville, TN area. As an author and mental health therapist, her greatest passion is walking with others on their journey to deeper emotional, psychological, and spiritual wholeness. As both her children have rare genetic disorders, Kristin especially loves supporting other parents of children with special needs. She hopes that you may find encouragement and support through her two websites and blogs, www.KristinFaithEvans.com and www.SpecialNeedsMomsBlog.com.
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