As a new mom, I look for and forward to every single milestone. I probably rush things, which only frustrates me and Jackson. I so wanted him to walk well by his first birthday, but it wasn’t until the next week that he decided walking was better than crawling. Now I am working and working and working on getting him to talk more. And more with a purpose. I need to maybe relax a little – he’ll talk when he’s ready.
I can say that, because, as far as we know, he’s “normal,” average. But… what if he doesn’t talk? What if tomorrow I was told that odds were against Jackson talking? How would I react?
My friend’s baby’s scans were completed last week, and they got the best possible news – the tumor had not metastasized and they can avoid surgery and chemo for now. Re-scans every 3 months. But, the prognosis of her future walking was not made any brighter.
My friend is being beautiful and strong about it. But she is grieving and heartbroken, too. She’s an awesome athlete… and she’s basically been told that her daughter will not be a conventional amazing athlete because of a stupid tumor. That she’ll probably need a wheelchair. Therapy. Fight a stigma of being “special,” no matter her intelligence. And while I absolutely foresee some version of walking at some point… it won’t be by or anywhere near her first birthday. Most of us don’t remember our own first steps, but she may very well know that memory. She could blow all of this out of the water… but the doctor made no promises of miracles, and they are heading into the future with open, realistic eyes.
Which brings me back to where I started. Our children are all different. They will all do different things with different levels of abilities. And we, as parents, have these expectations, crazy or reasonable. I expect Jackson to walk, and run, and talk, and be really smart, get a full ride football scholarship, and cure AIDS. He probably won’t. And I need to be okay with that. I need to stop rushing him. Keep encouraging him. And, I need to cherish each milestone as it occurs and quit taking them for granted. Because I love him no matter what.