Small Wins Are Worth Celebrating

March 06, 2022

We've had a lot of small wins lately and they're surely worth celebrating.

Last year, as I was approaching my 40th birthday, I told myself that there’s no victory that’s too small. Whatever I achieve, whatever we achieve as a family will be worth acknowledging and celebrating. Part of it is the milestones that my children are hitting. For some people, the stories that I tell may sound ordinary. For us though, they are extraordinary because we choose to treat them that way. Yes, being extraordinary is a choice and I learned that late. Nonetheless, I told myself that it was not yet too late so I vowed to treat every small win as worthy of a celebration.

Small wins are worth celebrating

Small Wins Are Worth Celebrating


I’m really proud of my younger son, Rafa. When Mommy Khris and I learned that we were having a second baby, all I prayed for is for him to be neurotypical. If your oldest child has a developmental delay, there’s a big chance that the younger children will also have a similar condition. At least that’s what the developmental pediatrician told us.

When Rafa was only a few months, we noticed that he was very responsive. He’d look at us when we talked, he’d make babbling sounds when we spoke to him, and he’d gaze at things when we pointed at them. At an early age, it was apparent that he didn’t have any developmental issues.

Now that he’s two years old, he’s learning things fast. He imitates the people that he sees on TV, he could identify colors, he learns words that we teach him, and he follows instructions really well.

Our little boy Rafa doing his favorite painting activity
Rafa and his painting

One scene that I couldn’t forget was when we visited our close friends about three weeks ago. In the afternoon they served popcorn for the kids. Rafa was eating popcorn by himself together with two kids much older than him. I was just proud of him as I watched him interact with the bigger kids.

As for Miguel, he’s also full of surprises lately. One morning, I was awakened when I heard him shout “Dada!” I was jolted out of sleep. When I opened my eyes, he was standing at the side of my bed and flashing a big grin. When I got up, he motioned for me to open the bedroom door and as soon as he got out, he took his slippers and then put them on. It was my first time to see him put on his slippers and I was very happy with his progress.

But that’s not all. During the previous evening when we were about to go to bed, I saw him go beside the lampshade, put his right hand against the light to create a shadow, and then continued on to play with his shadow. Again, it was quite an overwhelming sight to see Miguel like that.

One of the things that I like to do when I wait for Miguel’s class to finish is to listen to the other parents chatting in the waiting area. They’re all moms or grandmas so I understand why they easily clicked. Anyway, during one occasion, I heard one mom say to another mom that her son doesn’t know how to sip from a straw yet. The boy also doesn’t know how to blow candles as well.

I’m familiar with that boy because I always see him as soon as I bring Miguel to the activity area. By my estimate, that boy I a little older than Miguel. I think I also heard him say a few words.

Miguel already knows how to sip from a straw. He was already sipping his favorite Dutch Mill Yoghurt Drink since he was a little more than one year old. He doesn’t know how to blow candles though.

Anyway, what I’m just pointing out is that it amazes me that each special needs child is so unique. There may be some similarities between two neurodivergent children but their condition is not exactly alike. The spectrum is expansive, the approach from one child to the next is different, and the time in which each child blooms cannot be dictated. It’s like deciphering a code; it may be hard in the beginning but in the end, all the effort to crack the puzzle is worth it.

Each child is beautiful. Each one has a distinctive set of abilities and that’s what makes them beautiful.

I know the journey of special needs families is full of challenges so we should learn to celebrate every triumph along the way.

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