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Friday, March 03, 2017

Baby Steps

Written by  Rev. Kelly Crenshaw

You’d think that by the time I got to my 19th child, I’d be over the proud mama moments. I’ve seen babies walk and I’ve heard them talk. I’ve received a million baby kisses and have cleaned the face of more than one sauce-covered toddler. I have baby pictures everywhere in our home, showing our kids doing rather normal baby-type things. But, I’m still head over heels with babies.

Cassandra, as many of you know, was born addicted to eight different substances. She struggled in the beginning and was highly medicated for many months as we tried to wean her off the drugs that had controlled her world since conception. She became completely drug free on September 3rd, when she, at almost ten months of age, refused to take any more medication. Her doctor agreed with that decision.

Since then, she’s been a marvel. She has an extensive vocabulary and is beating all of her milestones. She gives hugs and kisses to everyone in her world, especially her best friend, our dog Joy. She has her favorite toys and her favorite foods. She went through a period of time when everything was “mine,” even though she’s terribly small to be doing that. And, she is about the sweetest child I’ve met in a long time. I think this verifies that I’m still the proud mama.

One of the best things about having a baby in the house is that it reminds me of the baby moments of my other kids. I have been recalling things about their childhoods. I remember their first words and their baby funny moments. It’s given our family a time for reflection and laughter that may not have happened otherwise. Memories that had slipped to the back of our minds have now come forward.

It has helped us all recognize that babies take baby steps. And sometimes, big kids take those baby steps, too. Sometimes, it takes older kids a little longer to learn a life or school lesson. For them, this is normal. For their parents, this can be frustrating.

A wise woman once advised me that a child has at least 18 years to learn everything he or she needs to graduate high school. Some lessons come quickly. Some are more of a struggle. And, that’s all just fine.

Allow your children to learn at the rate that is most comfortable for them. Give them the encouragement they need to succeed and do well in all things they attempt. And, if it takes a little longer than you expect, recognize each of the baby steps. After all, progress is progress.

And, I’d rather my kids walk away with lessons learned; lessons that will last a lifetime.

Rev. Kelly Crenshaw is the mom of 16 adopted kids, two biological kids, guardian of one baby girl and foster mom of dozens. Some are lesbian, some gay, some straight, and some bisexual. Kelly founded a K-12 day school where kids could have a safe, bully-free environment for learning. She is co-owner of a counselling agency that works with children and their families. Send your parenting questions to her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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