Nana's Loving Wisdom: I Believe, by Zibby Andrews
Updated: Jan 7
I believe in the day-to-day, in the uneventful, same-old things that happen over and over. Those are the things that make us who we are and nurture our children with their consistency and normalcy. The things that truly matter are in the day-to-day.
When we say “I love you” every night at bedtime, when we cook dinner night after night, when we read one more book, we are building something important. We are building slowly, but we are building “I love you”, one dinner, and one story at a time. We can see the simple things as neutral parts of everyday life, not worth remembering, not important. Or we can see them as magnificent building blocks. The little things, the things that happen day after day, come together to make us who we are. And they make our children who they will be. Every day is an opportunity to pay attention to the little things, to the routines, the lunches, the reading times that are experienced over and over, day after day. Every day is an opportunity to build yourself, and your child, little by little.
Say something nice to someone at the store, walk at your child’s pace on the way to the playground, add a special ingredient to a routine lunch, smile at someone when they ask you a
question. These little things are the foundation of a better life, both for you and for the people around you. Every time you hold the door for someone, or let someone go ahead of you in line, or smile at a stranger, you’re building. You’re setting the stage for kindness and love. And you’re setting the stage for your child to become someone who thinks of others and is kind and respectful.
When we pull out picture albums and scroll through the pictures on our phones, we see photographs of the special days, the days that have punctuated the mundane. We see pictures of the birth of a child, a special place we visited, a birthday party. But the events that were important enough to warrant printing a picture don’t stand up to the day-to-day. With the day-to-day, like a jigsaw puzzle, every piece is important. Even the pieces that look the same, the multitude of “blue sky” pieces, are all important to the whole we are trying to create. Each one will come together to create a big picture of compassion, thoughtfulness, honesty and generosity.
We don’t want to ignore the big events - My mother died when I was a teen; and that changed my life. But still, that event is not more important to who I am now than the day-to-day times I had with her. The day-after-day “I love you’s”, the dinners she made for me, the stories she read to me and later, the books she recommended, were all more important than her illness.
The mundane made me who I am, not just the big events.
I believe in the day-to-day, in the power of the little things that happen over and over.
I believe in the little things that nurture better people.
Zibby Andrews is a mother and grandmother with forty-plus years of experience in early childhood education, supporting parents, teachers and young children. Zibby has three grown children and four wonderful grandchildren, ranging in age from 6 months to 16 years. Through them, she keeps personally connected to the development of young children. She lives in Baltimore City where she now spends her time as a part-time tutor for second grade students and caring for her youngest granddaughter.