I see this all the time, parents expressing sorrow that their children have hit another milestone, have left another stage behind.
I understand being wistful, I still don’t grasp how that newborn I held is suddenly this active little boy. But regret?
No. Not even for the last baby.
I also see parents so eager for the next stage that they push the envelope… rushing ahead. Not even for the first baby.
I’ve not been wildly successful at a lot of things in my life, but one that I’m doing quite well is enjoying Miles’ stages while he is in them. He leaps forward in bounds, now crawling, now talking, now conversing, now jumping and spinning and throwing tantrums and I know that Why is just around the corner…. And as he leaves each stage behind, I do not mourn.
I had a baby who stayed a baby. Shiny was a newborn for months. She was an infant in arms for over a year. A scootching and then crawling baby for many years.
And I will never tell a child, “Don’t grow up”. I will never tell a child, “Stay the way you are”. I’ve seen that. It’s not what you think.
I don’t push Miles forward, but I don’t hold him back. I love the stage he’s at now… and will be grateful when he leaves it behind, as he’s left every other stage behind. Because that’s what children do. What they are supposed to do.
And when they don’t, if you get that wish that they’d just stay this way…. something has gone terribly wrong. Please don’t wish for that.