Thursday, May 15, 2008

Take It Slow

I thought it might be prudent to continue yesterday’s topic of the expected unexpected in relation to the raising of children. A subject that I had not broached was that of a new mother’s desire to hurry along the growth of her child. By this I mean the thrilled anticipation with which she awaits big milestones like baby’s first steps, first words, etc.

When my first child was born, I adored every stage he went through and looked with eagerness toward the next. The pride in being able to say that Junior is five-months-old instead of only four-months-old; counting away the days until one can safely proclaim him to be five-and-a-half-months-old. “I can’t wait for him to say ‘mama’” and “I can’t wait for him to be able to roll over” is just the beginning of the “I can’t waits”. What the mother does not realize is that once the child begins to crawl, walk, and even talk, her life will never be the same.

The baby that once stayed put in the same spot on the floor now crawls toward the pet food dishes in search of a snack, or opens all of the kitchen cabinets and drags the Tupperware out all over the floor. Once they can walk, children gravitate in the direction of the telephone or the stairs. Cute little fits of crying when the child is removed from the bathtub turn into all out tantrums when they need to be strapped into the car seat. “Mama” all too quickly becomes “no”.

It is so much easier for me the second time around to savor the present instead of being on the lookout for the next stage. Babies grow all too rapidly without any help from mom and dad. Of course I am crazy in love with my little ones no matter where they are in their developmental journey; I just don’t want to rush it or wish the time away.

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