Breaking up may be hard to do, but growing up is even harder. Watching my daughter grow and change over this past year – her first, has been an adventure, to be sure. Wonderful and terrifying, amazing and scary, exciting and sad – but always an adventure.
I have found this month particularly bittersweet as we approach her first birthday. I am so excited to watch who she is becoming as she develops new skills and becomes more and more her own person. She is more a toddler every day, and it’s so amazing. I feel so privileged to have a front seat view of her journey of herself.
As she grows and changes though, she leaves behind the baby I have loved so fiercely since I found out I was pregnant. And as we rapidly approach her first birthday, I find myself mourning the loss of that baby quite desperately. These changes, this growing up thing, no one told me how bittersweet it would all be.
I find so many parents hold their children back. They don’t mean to, they love their kids desperately and want only the best for them, but they hold them back nonetheless. Many lack confidence in their children’s social and academic skills. I wonder how many do so because they see their child as only what they have been, and not what they are becoming. Children, people really, will rise to meet the expectations that we place before them. If we expect them to not be able to focus well, like math, or make friends easily – they will do just that. We must be able to let go of who they have been, and support who they are becoming. We cannot be afraid of change. We must embrace it if our children are to become their very best selves.
Last night I discovered that our Munchie (short for munchkin) had finally cut her first two teeth. Late in the game, like her momma, but here at last, two tiny sharp nubs now poke out of her lower gums. I have visions of the brilliant white smile that will soon grace her gorgeous face – but gosh I’ll miss the darling gummy one.
Change happens, and I’ve always thought I was good at it, even if I’ve not always liked it. I’ve changed jobs, hobbies, even countries, and usually found a way to enjoy the adventure. Change always comes at a price of leaving behind the old – the comfortable and beloved – and this can be so hard. We just have to remind ourselves that the adventure that awaits us is so much more exciting than we could ever imagine. We can miss the little one our child used to be, but we must support the people they are becoming. I will miss that baby my daughter is increasingly leaving behind, but I can’t wait to meet my toddler.
What changes are you facing in your child and yourself? Is there anything that you are missing that surprises you? How do you plan to support the growth of your little person?