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Be thankful

November 14, 2014
Maria Smaldino Spencer , MOV Parent

We all have things to be thankful for at this time of year-and always. But since we all go through our days so very busy, we miss out on appreciating the little things in our day to be grateful for.

Many people I know have taken the "thankfulness challenge" and writing down a few things they are thankful for each day for 30 days.

I think writing them down makes us be physically aware of them and can refer back to them often. Even though it is difficult to do, I hope to be mindful of all I have to be thankful for every month, not just in November.

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As special parents, it is difficult at times to stop and truly notice what we have to be grateful for on any given day. Between appointments, surgeries, school issues, etcit is hard to see the blessings in all of it. But at the same time, if we look close and pay attention, we will see that we have so many things to be thankful for that most people take for granted with their children.

If you are a parent of typical children, my prayer for you this month is that you will appreciate and truly express gratitude for all the things --even the smallest things, that your child is able to do that you may take for granted. How they walk with ease, tell you with their voice what they feel, or their ability to be independent and do things for themselves--believe it or not, these are little miracles that you should be grateful for.

And if you are a special parent, I pray that you take note of my words and my heart and be aware of the little things each day that make your child unique-and celebrate and be thankful for all the things he or she can do, rather than focusing on their limitations.

I know many parents of children that have limited, if any, communication skills. For these families, the most minute, quiet sound makes their heart smile.

Maria Smaldino Spencer is a special mom to Olivia; she and her family reside in Poland, Ohio. She is a parent consultant and inspirational speaker. For more information about her services, contact



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