“She’s walking! She’s walking! She’s taking her first steps!” M calls to me from the kitchen the day before Little L’s 1st birthday. But I’m on the phone, and I barely bat an eye. Don’t judge me. I’m not a horrible mom. I promise. It’s just that over the last three years I’ve learned a thing or three about kids and their “firsts.”
On the fourth day C was at daycare she rolled over for the first time. I missed it because I was at work and it broke my heart when I heard the excited recounting of her big milestone. I felt like a terrible, no good, horrible mom for not being there to cheer her on. It was her first big “first” and I missed it. Except I didn’t. Not really. See? C didn’t roll over again for weeks. And I was there when she did it for the “first” time all over again.
In the last couple years I’ve witnessed and missed my fair share of “firsts,” “seconds,” and even “thirds.” My kids have both tried new skills and then left them alone for days or even weeks at a time. I’ve learned that missing a first isn’t the end of the world and that acquiring a new skill takes time and lots and lots of practice.
Even if I miss the very roll, or the very first clap, or even the very first step I know I’ll be there to see the next one, and with any luck I’ll have my camera in hand. Hey, come on! I told you I wasn’t a monster!
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