Little Things

Monday March 14, 2011
Little things mean a lot.

It’s true in marriage, in mothering, in so many areas of life.

One of my favorite family “little things” memories is our red plate. We bought it early in our parenting journey, and we’ve used it for birthdays and all kinds of special days. Everybody needs some special recognition once in a while, and the red plate is a tangible way of saying, “We’re proud of you!”

A good friend has children quite a bit younger than mine, and one year I gave them a red plate for Christmas. When I told her I got a contract for I’m Outnumbered, she said, “Is the red plate in there? It should be!”

I’m a firm believer in helping each child discover what makes him uniquely him. With four sons, there’s a temptation to think they’re all alike – “boys will be boys.” Reality couldn’t be further from the truth. So anything we moms can do to acknowledge and applaud what makes our children uniquely them is valuable.

My boys love to eat, and I love to cook for them. We make a good team. My college boy is coming home for Spring Break, and it was all I could do not to tell everyone in the grocery store that today. I was stocking up on all his favorite things, gathering all the ingredients for his favorite dishes. (I did mention it to the deli guy and my favorite checker, but that’s all…)

What about you? Do you have family traditions that make a lot of the little things?


Heidi @ Decor & More said...

What a fabulous tradition! Enjoy your boy!

Stephanie Kay said...

I love the red plate idea! Making a lot of little things is difficult for me. With 4 children ages 2-7 (3 of them boys) I tend to get bogged down in the tasks that "have" to be done. God is continually teaching me to slow down and go at the pace of my little guys and enjoy the little moments.

Stephanie M. Page said...

I love this post! Isn't that what makes life beautiful? Making a lot of the little things? I am thankful I grew up with a mom who did this for me and I try and do it daily with my girls too. Beautifully written.

Jean Wise said...

Good reminder, Laura - to celebrate all the times, even the little ones. Too often we rush through life without enjoying our "red plates"

Karen said...

Awww, I want a red plate to have when my kids come a'visting!

Faith said...

How awesome is that red plate!! that is just great! Well, we don't have a red plate but we do have a little tradition for each and everyone's birthdays in the family. Each girl (and my hubby!) writes me out a menu of what they want for dinner the evening of their birthday. And if they want to go to a certain restaurant, they write it down. I make (or take them) whatever is on their menu. Sometimes they have been very creative with the desserts since neither child really likes cake all that much :) and we have a special stocking for each person in the family for xmas morning. It is Unique to them depicting what represents them. (my mother in law knit them). It is given to them on their 1 year old birthday. This was a great post! Now I am all nostalgic feeling!!

Just Me said...

I am a first-time visitor to your blog and I am already in LOVE with what you have to say!

I also have 4 boys. I agree with you that the phrase "boys will be boys" is used too much and doesn't really mean anything at all. We are not our gender tendencies, am I right? Check out my blog at

I hope to pick up your new book soon!


Sarah W. said...

You left a comment on my blog, and I am so glad because I love reading your blog!
In just one post, I can tell you're the mom I hope to be! You are on the other side of mothering than me, so your writing is so very encouraging. I love how excited you are for your son to come visit. I want my kids to stay little forever, but reading this, I realize that every stage is amazing! Thank you!

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