Since weâ€™ve been talking about the â€śsmall milestonesâ€ť Iâ€™ve found myself wondering whether different milestones qualify as big or small. It turns out there is not standard yardstick for measuring the important moments of development - and what might be a major breakthrough for one family might seem like small potatoes to another. I remember being surprised how gradual some of the â€śmajorâ€ť milestones ended up being with my first child. I guess I imagined his first steps would happen spontaneously and heâ€™d just take off on two feet after months of crawling. Instead there was a period of pulling up, then cruising, then a tentative step or two between furniture supports, then steps while holding a hand. It seemed like the answer to â€śIs he walking yet?â€ť was â€śkind ofâ€¦â€ť for months before he actually walked across a room on his own.
All these baby steps towards...well...baby steps, made learning to walk seem more like a journey than an event. Learning to walk is objectively a major milestone, but as we inched towards independent walking no one advancement felt like â€śthe big moment.â€ť On the other hand, the first time I realized that he could outrun me if I didnâ€™t hustle, now THAT felt like a life changing moment. It clearly was, because I havenâ€™t stopped hustling since.
I admit that some of the most major milestones for me wouldnâ€™t be found in most baby books. Perhaps the ultimate milestone in my estimation was when I could finally bring the kids to the park and actually sit on the park bench while they played. Up until then, an outing to the playground was a very demanding endeavor. I was chasing them, pushing them on the swings, keeping them from stepping off high ledges, and catching them as came down the slide. Now, I can stop for a coffee on the way to the playground and actually sit and drink it. Of course I still play with them, push them on the swings and cheer them on - but itâ€™s not a constant high-stress relay. Is that a big milestone or a small one? Is it theirs or mine? Does it matter? It was a moment when life felt new and different for our little family unit and thatâ€™s worth remembering. What big/small milestones have you experienced that werenâ€™t outlined in the baby books?