“You’ll look back on these days and wish you could have them back.” As parents, we’ve all heard this statement, or some version, at least a million times. It’s always struck me as somewhat of a disturbing statement, yet I’ve listened to so many moms mourn the things their children have grown out of or matured from.
We have children to watch them grow. They’re like seeds that we nurture for a future bloom.
Don’t get me wrong, every once in a while, I look at pictures from my daughter’s first month and fondly remember the first time she wrapped her tiny hand around my finger. I occasionally think back to the days of the three, then two, naps a day of her babyhood (God forbid the loss of the one nap happens anytime soon).
I have occasionally re-watched the videos of her first steps and her speaking her first word. These things haven’t been forgotten and never will. They’re wonderful memories, and memories are important, BUT they’re things that happened in the past.
It’s the future we should be spending our time on!
My mom once told me she was never sad when my brother and I reached big milestones. Instead, she said, she chose to be excited that we were on our way to the ‘next big thing’ and couldn’t wait to see what would happen. This is what I’ve chosen to do with my daughter. I find it makes her growing process so much fun! Anticipation is much better than a twinge of sadness, and I’ll take that anytime.
I don’t always pick big milestones to look forward to. Sometimes, it’s the little things that ultimately make my day. I look forward to her growing out of 12-month-size pants (hopefully before age two).
I look forward to her understanding the concepts of doing arts and crafts instead of trying to eat them. I look forward to conversations and hearing about her friendships and school.
The ideas of these things and the possibilities of what is to come drives me. I love the idea of what she will be, NOT what she did or didn’t do. If all we do is miss the good ‘ole days, a lot is missed.
If I had spent my time missing the days before my daughter could walk because she’s now so active I can barely keep up, I might not have been able to appreciate the first time she ran to me with her hands outstretched, yelling ‘Mom-mee’ in a high-pitched shriek.