Hidden in the Milestones
As parents we hope to see our little ones check all the boxes at the “right” times for each milestone, but that isn’t always the case. What we’ve found, hidden in the wait, is that you find strength and hope. And we’ve learned that brilliance doesn’t always check off all the boxes!
Can we quantify childhood? Could we capture brilliance in a bottle or predict genius? Is there a way to harness the ever-changing landscape of a child’s ascent into toddlerhood?
No one can capture the essence of the beauty your child brings to the world in their own way. They live and breathe and offer the world a unique collection of attributes that both challenge and thrill us as we sort all the ways to raise them. And no matter the milestone, something even better lies behind the eyes of every child. Potential.
Yet, our minds seek out a way to quantify success. We want to know we are on the “right” track. We all do it. We hope we check all the boxes. But true brilliance does not always check all the boxes. In fact, the rarest astute treasures seldom do.
So, this goes out to all the parents whose child did not “meet” a developmental milestone; who worried and thought and researched and wondered. To all of us out there who found another way to look at our child who didn’t walk until 2 years of age, whose language delayed until what seemed like forever or who never really looked forward to that moment at the doctor when they began to ask if progress had been made. To all the unsung brilliance that did not check all the boxes – this is for you.
At what point did you discover the strength within? When were you overcome with the freedom to find the deep beauty and value in those little eyes? Did you find ways to redirect conversations of loved ones as you sought, researched, scheduled, organized and planned?
There is a way that missing a milestone makes a family more cohesive, makes a sibling more understanding, makes a parent a passionate advocate, a speech expert, a physical therapist, a kind of armchair-psychic trying to predict a million tomorrows. And within this, it brings hope.
You know who was a late-talker?
You know who showed what we would consider autistic traits in childhood?
Sir Isaac Newton and Temple Grandin who inspired us with “every grain of sand intrigued me”.
Temple had a great point and if every child is more unique than a grain of sand, then let those who pursue milestones at their own pace make the world a better place in their own timing.
And may every hand and heart that helps these glimmering ‘grains of sand’ be encouraged as we check off the lists of love, determination and inspiration – the things that predict the future with greater efficiency.
After all, milestones are just rocks, some see them as a destination, some use them for navigation and some realize that they are standing on the biggest one we all share and make that rock more beautiful in their own timing, right where they are.
No matter where you are in parenthood, you’ve got this!