Ev is the smallest person in our household, by a lot.
When she was one year old, she was not even half the size of Eli, who is just a couple years older and next in the sibling line.
Back then, she could not reach the fruit bowl or the handle of the fridge or, to her ongoing frustration, the box of kleenex. Climbing onto the seat of a kitchen chair required grappling hooks and rappelling gear.
She was a small person. And yet her influence on our family at the time was less “small” and more “enormous.”
There were times of day when we did not leave the house, at her preference. (We called that “naptime,” and no, I would not mess with that kind of magic.)
We had to learn a second language, because she kept sneakily learning baby sign language when we were not looking. She was forever signing things we could not figure out without an online dictionary.
She could get any one of us—well, maybe not Eli, but the other four siblings or either parent—to stop what we were doing in one hot second, by just dragging her blanket over and asking to be held and snuggled.
Big, small: these things are relative, and which is which is not always as clear as you’d think.
Sometimes, for example, I discover twelve seconds too late that what I thought was a small thing (“we’ll get a balloon next time, they’re all out today”) was actually the biggest thing that ever happened (*cue toddler wail of utter despondency*).
Small things can throw us off, but small things can nudge us in new directions, too. A small push can be the first step onto a whole new path.
One tiny choice made on purpose doesn’t seem like much, but a thousand tiny choices together will matter. A habit of purposeful choices will matter. The legacy of purposeful choices will matter.
What if you claimed every one of the small words, small choices, small moments that came your way? What could you start today? What could it become tomorrow?
Maybe it’s not even about tomorrow. There’s plenty to learn by choosing to be present in the small things today.
Even if I can’t QUITE picture it yet, eventually the children will all grow up. They’ll even out. Evelyn won’t be smallest, maybe, or if she is, not by much. Not enough to notice.
I look at her and I think: small beginnings can lead just about anywhere.