The Ultimate Countdown

We spend a lot of our children’s lives counting down the days. It starts well before they are born. We count down the days until we miss our period so we can take a pregnancy test. Then, we count every day until the baby comes. We count contractions, how long and how far apart. We count how many more seconds to push.
After that, it’s “I can’t believe the baby’s already a week old!” And soon, it’s replaced by a month and then a year. We count down the days until his or her first birthday.

The counting goes on and on. Yet, every time we count down and the day arrives, we’ve lost some treasured time of our child’s life because we were too busy counting down the days until the next milestone. That milestone comes with its own new set of challenges. Like when we couldn’t wait for them to crawl and then they were in to everything!  Then, we couldn’t wait for them to talk and learned to regret that wish after they started calling us “Boobie” instead of “Mommy,” while demanding to be nursed. Or, when we longed for them to eat solid foods, until mashed peas were being spit back at our faces.

My most recent countdown was for my youngest to walk. He’s 16 months old and I was at the point where I was googling everything about late onset walking. Is it a disorder? You name it, I researched it. Hey, it’s my job as a journalist, right? That, and I have a special fixation (some may call it an obsession) with Web MD. Anyway, today, as if he just flipped a switch, the baby started walking. And fast! Funny how you want them to do something so badly until you realize why it was a good idea to wait. He was off and running. In to everything. And so proud.

Do you want to know what the most special part of this milestone is? (Of course you do, or you wouldn’t still be reading.) The most special and significant aspect of reaching this milestone is that I WAS HERE TO SEE IT!

When both of my older children were this age, I was working in a news room. I was always working. I missed these little things that really mean so much. If nothing else, these nine months of being a stay at home mom have given me this precious gift of witnessing my baby boy take his first real steps. And for that, I am grateful. Thank you God.

What are you counting down to? And what do you wish you could have waited for?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa
    May 17, 2011 @ 18:39:21

    I’m SO happy you got to see that! As someone who worked in daycare for years, I would NEVER tell a mom her child took steps at ‘school’. I would wait until they told me they were taking steps at home before I said anything. That’s such a special thing and my heart breaks for moms who miss that stuff because they have to work.
    The countdown for me is college. My youngest (who will be in middle school next year) asked whether my oldest would be in the high school when she got there. I did the math (which mind you is no easy task for me) and realized that in two more years, my oldest will be in college. Gulp!

    Reply

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