There are days where time outs and taken toys are the sum of my entire existence.
Count to 3. Set the timer. Repeat 310 times.
And when that's all you're dishing out, it can be hard to see otherwise.
But it's my job as parent, #1 cheerleader, and molder of the future of America (hello cliche') to do so.
Sure, the one time out of 20 that they remember to ask for juice using the word "please" might not seem like the big deal. Or the 4.2 minutes they play happily with their siblings without fighting.
But it's catching those moments that can make all the difference in their day.
But if you're not really looking, or listening, you'll completely miss them.
And really, the same goes for you too.
You can spend half your day beating yourself up for the numerous times you yelled instead of counted to ten. Or 200. You can bog yourself down by the seemingly neverending to-do list that somehow gets foiled by pee accidents or World War 3 sibling arguments over a tiny plastic toy that no one could have given a shit about 2 days ago.
Or you can celebrate the little victories, your own little victories, that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Sometimes it's just that you got out of bed or it's that instead of tuning your kids out, you actually listened.
Other times, it's that you didn't completely and royally fuck up.
These moments won't win you or your kids any parent or child of the year awards. These aren't lifesaving rescues or gold medal achievements that will get you the key to your city or a some sort of "super hero" moniker.
They're probably not even completely obvious to anyone but you.
But by noticing them in your kids and yourself, by acknowledging their presence, no matter how ridiculously small they might seem, you have the power to change your minute, your hour, or even your day.
And sometimes that's really all we need.