Counting Blessings

This is an old post from this site. It’s from way back before we were The OT Toolbox. It’s one that stands out in my mind, though!

Today is a day full of emotions. It’s just 10 days before Christmas eve. I’m sitting in the waiting room of our city’s Children’s hospital alone. My three year old son is in the hands of doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, assistants, and people I’ll never meet as he undergoes a surgical procedure.  That feeling of walking away from the surgical room as the doors of the surg room close is one I’ll never forget.

My Little Guy, the one who can make anyone smile…the one that loves to throw balls or anything that looks like a ball…my son…is going under anesthesia to have a surgery.

It was a minor surgery. A scope of his parotid gland. One that would tell us what exactly was going on in that little gland that causes his whole cheek to blow up as hard as a rock and causes him so much pain. The doctors would be able to see, with a tiny microscope, how narrow the opening of his gland was or if anything was blocking the gland. It was not a difficult or lengthy procedure, and we would be home on our cozy couch later that day.

I spent the day in the hospital.  It was very emotional going through the process of registration, dressing him in his little panda covered gown, talking with anesthesiologists/surgeons/nurse practitioners, carrying his little koala bear body wrapped around me down the long hallway into the OR, into the BRIGHT white room filled with all kinds of medical staff covered head to toe in their gauzy sterile clothing, and holding his little hand as his long eye lashes sloooowly  closed…and then the waiting and waiting and more waiting.

And the recovery, trying to wake him up while his floppy little 3 year old body resisted…and more waiting.

It was a long, long day…all from the side of the worried senseless mommy.  I am used to being on the scrubs side of this medical world.

And sometime during all of this, there was chatter among the other moms and dads and grammas and pap paps and worried, pacing waiting room adults…of a shooting.  It felt like a hit to my gut.  I literally felt sick to my empty stomach.

It was the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and 20 children and 6 adult staff members were killed.

It is impossible to understand how anyone could fathom the steps to consider the senseless tragedy that happened that day.

I keep thinking of the moms and dads who do not have their babies to tuck into their beds that night.

So when we came home it was an evening of snuggles and kisses.

Counting blessings.

I prayed hard that day.  For Little Guy, for his doctors, for his guardian angel, for God to hold my hand after I let go of my baby’s…and then, for all of the mommies and daddies with a new hole in their hearts, for all of the sisters and brothers and families who can not and will not ever understand.

That night and every night, I am thankful for every runny nose, every wet pants accident, every mess, every sleepless night, every time I have a screaming baby who doesn’t want that stranger to hold her more than mommy…

Every day is one full of blessings.  Enjoy every single one of them every single day.


Use this small encouragement to help your child with the skills they need to develop and succeed. No matter what your faith, counting blessings and counting the things we all have to be thankful for are so important. 
Take a moment to count with your child. Help them to hold out their hand as they count with their fingers; mamas, papas, siblings, favorite toys, a roof over their heads. Show them how to count finger-by-finger each of those items. 
Yes, there are developmental aspects here: finger isolation, separation of the two sides of the hand, one-to-one correspondence, visual motor skills, etc. But the real development here is gratitude. Expressing thanks. Positive thoughts. Kids need those too!

My heart and prayers are with the victims and families of Newtown, Connecticut. 



2 thoughts on “Counting Blessings”

  1. Colleen, your words say exactly what we all feel. Thank you for them. So glad your little one is doing well. Life is so short, so fragile. God be with us all, especially those in Newtown. Cathy Clover

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