When my son was 3 years old (he’s now 15), my husband and I learned that I was unable to have more children. Ok, my fertility doctor’s exact words post-op were, “You have less than a 1% chance of conceiving naturally on a monthly basis.” Wait, what? Less than 1%? I’m not a mathematician, but I recognized immediately those weren’t good odds!
My husband and I considered IVF (due to my medical condition this was the recommended course) and adoption. After many discussions we chose to view our son, who was conceived naturally, as a blessing and the only child intended for us. Thus began my personal quest to “make the ordinary, extraordinary” for our family of 3.
To make the ordinary extraordinary, I look at an ordinary activity and think of ways to incorporate a little twist of extraordinary.
One evening prior to family movie night I created “SUPER SECRET SPECIAL SNACK.” I opened the pantry and refrigerator and placed a combination of random food items into a bowl. When I presented it to my toddler (with a ta-da, of course), his excitement was priceless! Voila, ordinary snack time became extraordinary with some fun words and a hodge-podge of food. At 15, my son periodically asks for one of these snacks. (Note: I’ve used fresh fruits & veggies, crackers, nuts, M&M’s, Slim Jims, beef jerky, fruit snacks, cheese, even a GoGurt on the side through the years.)
We are originally from Northeast Ohio where there are 4 distinct seasons. Every fall we did a “nature walk.” We walked around our neighborhood or went to a local park and collected the “prettiest and most colorful leaves.” We took them home, pressed them between 2 books, and then created an art project with them. To this day, in my Southern California home, I have 3 of our nature walk projects displayed! When we do find a colorful leaf here, my son will bring it to my attention and mention that it would be perfect for a nature walk project.
Holiday season is a very easy time to create extraordinary twists.
One year I decided I wanted to my son’s opinion on what Santa’s reindeer would like to eat at our house since they eat carrots at all other homes. Using a gallon-sized plastic bag, we consulted the trusty pantry to create “reindeer snacks.” He chose oatmeal, sprinkles, mini-marshmallows, and raisins that first year. (Every year the snack was different based on what was in the pantry.) Christmas Eve we scattered that snack for the reindeer.
Every year, using Hershey Kisses, I created a “Santa path” from his bedroom door to his presents under the tree. He told me Santa must have looked in his room while he was sleeping and then left him a trail so he knew where to find his presents. It became an annual tradition because every Christmas Eve he “hoped” that Santa would leave him a trail. Almost like he was hinting…
Making the ordinary, extraordinary isn’t about money or BIG gestures. I like to say it’s the little things that make the ordinary, extraordinary.
Have fun finding your family’s extraordinary!