“There is no such thing as perpetual tranquility of mind while we live here; because life itself is but motion, and can never be without desire, nor without fear, no more than without sense.” – Thomas Hobbes
There’s nothing more rewarding as a parent than watching my son grow. And even though everyone warned me, I didn’t expect that it would happen so fast. Somehow, in watching other people parent, things seem to happen more slowly. Maybe because I don’t witness the daily developments that turn into bigger milestones.
When people ask how my son is doing, I feel like I say the same things month after month. “Oh, he’s running/climbing all over.” Or, “He’s using more words now.” It’s difficult to convey what these cursory reports really mean to us. And likely people don’t really want to hear all the details of how my son mastered a piece of playground equipment that he’s been attempting for weeks. 🙂
It’s hard to explain how special it feels to hear your toddler put a string of words together and realize that he just communicated a need or desire (and you understood it!). These aren’t milestones that happen all at once. I’m not even sure I’m always aware when I’ve just witnessed a milestone. Sometimes they’re so gradual, that I don’t even remember exactly when something took place. I was asked recently when my son first started talking and I didn’t know how to answer. Was it the first time he babbled “dada?” Or was it when he said “dada” and we knew he meant “that silly guy over there making goofy faces?” Or is it now, when he’s putting together sentences and communicating more complex thoughts?
Sometimes the milestone itself isn’t even the most exciting part. Watching the highly visible, daily process of him learning and developing as a person is at least as rewarding. Once the milestone is reached, they’re already on to the next one. Perhaps because the process happens so fast, the change is all the more apparent and awe-inspiring. Just when I get used to his ability to do one thing, he surprises me with another that I didn’t even realize was on the radar.
Life is always in motion, kids or not. Here’s to hoping we experience and savor as much of it as we can as we try to keep up. 🙂
This post was inspired by this week’s motion photo challenge.