When we were in Johnstown for Robert's grandmother's 90th birthday, we were talking to her about being the matriarch of such a good and large family. "Look what you did, Mama Ruth!" we laughed as we beheld the 50-some people there.
Margaret must have overheard this because I heard her tell a friend the other day, "We call her Mama because she made our whole family."
This phraseology tickled me, but it also made me a little sad. Margaret is 7 now and is moving into older-child territory. She hasn't said something little-kid-cute like that in a long time, and those occasions will become even less frequent.
There are all kinds of milestones in childhood. There are the obvious ones---walking, talking, riding a bike, going to school---and there are the ones that pass you by without you realizing. James recently fell asleep on Robert's lap, which he hasn't done in ages, and we realized that that may be the last time. Whenever that bridge gets crossed, we will not know it when it happens. We'll only know it in retrospect.
I was telling a friend recently that the big milestones are great and worthy of celebrating. Potty training is a huge one. Caroline is now at an age where we can leave her by herself for short periods of time. Margaret is 8 months away from No More Booster.
But there are so many lesser-celebrated milestones that are just as delightful. Yes, every move towards independence is poignant. But from a parenting perspective, make life so much easier.
Let's build a list of B-list milestones, shall we? Here are the ones that have made me rejoice recently:
- When they are tall enough to turn the faucet on and off themselves.
- When they can pour their own milk.
- When they can swim in the pool with you supervising them poolside, with a book.
- When they can wipe themselves successfully.
- When they can pack for a trip from a list.
What would you add?