Success (suk ses') n.
Achievement of something intended or desired;
attaining wealth, fame, or prosperity.
What exactly is success anyway? How can a person really even begin to measure the amount of success in their lives? When most people think about success, they automatically think about their education levels... and their occupations. Sadly, we seem to live in a society where people generally judge the success of others by the amount of money they make, by the kind of homes they live in, the cars they drive, or even by the type of clothing a person wears. Yet, are these the things that really make our lives successful? To me, success means something entirely different. To me... success is much more than money... or material items. To me... those things really aren't all that important in life. So... what exactly is success?
To my husband, his biggest success more than likely came on the day that he became a Senior Quality Engineer. To me...success came that afternoon that he showed up unexpectedly at the door, saying that he had taken the afternoon off work so he could take "his best girl" out for lunch. My seventeen year old daughter would probably tell you that success came for her on the day that she was hired for her first job... or maybe even the day that she received her driver's permit. To me... success came on the day that she screamed at me, and told me that I had completely ruined her entire life by teaching her to always be kind to other people. If you were to ask my fourteen-year old son, he'd more than likely tell you that success for him, came on the day that he bought that computer off of ebay for $6.00 plus shipping and handling. In fact, that's all we've heard about for months now. Yet for me... success came on the day that one of his teacher's stopped me in the hallway... with tears in her eyes... and told me that my son had hugged her and asked her if she was going to be okay when he heard that her mother had passed away. For my Little Prince, success always seemed to appear to come from having the skill to disrupt an entire family... and drive people to tears in only a matter of seconds. So needless to say, one of my biggest successes came on the day that my Little Prince admitted to me, "I was going to kill that bug... I started squeezing it really hard... then I realized that the bug hadn't done anything to hurt me... so I opened my hand and I let it go free." It was very clear to me at that particular moment that Joe was right... my son really was starting to develop a conscience. Before that day, I really wasn't all that sure that I actually believed Joe... but today I was clearly hearing what could only be described as... a conscience. He honestly could have just killed that bug... and normally he would have just squashed it flat without even blinking an eye. Yet today... he chose to let it go free... and that was an absolutely amazing success.
When you live with a RAD child, you need to take every success that you can get... however small it may seem at the time... and celebrate. I have very vivid memories of one particular evening when my son and I were sitting side-by-side sorting cookie cutters. He suddenly reached his hand over and placed it on my chest. You need to understand that my son had a really long history of trying to put his hands in some rather inappropriate places on my body, so my initial reaction was to quickly back away from him. It was then that I discovered the heart-shaped cookie cutter that he held in his hand. I think I initially startled him when I started to back away, but when our eyes met... he was smiling. Not the normal mischievous smile that I'm used to seeing... but a genuinely warm smile. It was then that I looked him straight in the eye and asked that question that I was just dying to ask him. "Why did you just put that cookie cutter against my chest?" I knew that it had to mean something good... but never in a million years would I have ever guessed the response I was about to get from him. Still smiling... he looked me straight in the eye and said, "Because you have a big heart... and it loves me so much." I nearly melted right there on the spot. Another success! In fact, this was an absolutely incredible success. I immediately scooped him up in my arms and started dancing around the kitchen with him... smothering him with hugs and kisses... until he was squirming and begging me to let him go.
To this day, I still don't know if he really understood the importance of that particular statement, or even why his mom was acting so strangely, but that's okay... because I was listening....and I understood very clearly what was happening there that night. My son was telling me that he was finally starting to feel my love. Success! Pure sweet success... and at it's absolute finest. A success much greater than any material object... much greater than any amount of money in the entire world. In fact, that my friend... was just about the most amazing success I have ever experienced in my entire lifetime. So... tell me... what is your definition of success? : )
Success (suk ses') n.
Achievement of something intended or desired;
finding a way inside the heart of a RAD child.
The day actually started out like any other. My husband left for work... I managed to successfully get the kids out the door to school... my neighbor and I went for our usual morning walk... and then I sat down at the computer to check my email before hitting the shower. A pretty relaxing morning for someone that appeared to be so close to a nervous breakdown just seven months ago. Yes, life certainly had slowed down quite a bit. It seemed nice to be able to just sit down and relax... let myself get lost in a little music... read a book... write... and work on my website. The really strange thing about this is that I really didn't even feel the slightest bit guilty about relaxing, and doing some of the things that "I" wanted to do.
As I opened my email...I discovered right away that my husband had sent me something from work. I'm going to be honest and admit that I skipped right past it... because I was quite sure that it was going to be another one of those silly email jokes, or one of those humorous stories that he so commonly sends home to me. So... after I had opened all of my other mail... I finally clicked on his to find out what the joke of the day was going to be. As I started reading...it didn't take me long to discover that this was indeed no joke. In fact, what I did discover was that my husband had been reading my website.
His email read as follows:
No, my biggest success was not the day that I made Sr. Quality Engineer.
There were 4 days:
*the day I married you
*the day our first child was born
*the day that our second child was born
*the day that we decided to adopt our Little Prince
So... I will consider myself corrected... and my husband gets a public apology. : )