Life’s in-between moments are important too. They’re the times when things aren’t circled around one specific event, just the gradual daily grind of making it through to the next season of life.
That’s what life is like for us the majority of the time, just the day to day living. It might seem monotonous at times, but it’s usually never boring. We’ve had some smaller milestones around here with birthdays, anniversaries, and such. Milestones are only great to hear about when you’re the actual family involved; no one else really wants to hear about it, but alas here we are. Congratulations. I’ve got a column to write, and you get to read about me pondering the normal moments.
All sizes of milestones when you have children are sweet when they happen, but to be honest, I don’t really catalog any of them. I didn’t care when I first cut a tooth, I’m not sure if my kids will care either. Maybe some day they’ll feel cheated that I didn’t write down when they went from breast milk to solid foods, but we’ll cross that awkward bridge if we come to it. Either way, my memory of their “firsts” are mostly all there. I’ll just be like the grandparents that constantly change how old you were for each event. I may or may not have learned to walk at 9 or 11 months, but the moral of the story is, I eventually learned to walk!
Potty training is the stage we’re currently in with our son. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s a daily chore in progress. Having gone through it already with one kid, I still don’t desire to discuss it. It’s such a weird topic and I’ve heard parents at a Christmas parties imitate their children’s potty training experiences and talk about diameters and lengths and ... it’s just not OK. Let’s keep that part of parenting a secret, shall we? We don’t need to romanticize the stinky stories. Nevertheless, it’s one of those magical moments that’s a part of my daily mom life. Lucky me.
Most everyone in our household has a birthday right now. Turning a new number is always a milestone around here. I’m not sure if it’s because the kids turn a year older and it’s special that they’re growing up or because it proves as parents we’ve went yet another year of having them under our care and supervision — and somehow they lived to tell the tale.
For my daughter it means growing up from a smiley kindergartner who seemed too small for her backpack to an ever maturing first-grader who suddenly cares. About everything. I’m in trouble, because I never spent much time thinking about raising kids with emotions beyond Dora the Explorer. Emotions in children make sense; you don’t want a daughter with the same creepy look on her face like a porcelain doll staring off into the distance, emotionless. (I know that’s creepy, but since it’s around Halloween it’s hard not to come across a few disturbing images. That’s my own personal one for you. You’re welcome.)
No matter how you peg daily life, when you have growing children, their world is always changing, which means the family dynamic is forced to grow and change also. So specifically for this new stage in our daughters life, we’ve successfully shared journals, diaries, and treat secrets with care. We tell her that her family always loves her and to be comfortable just being herself. (It seems like great advice, so I better be making royalties if a talk show steals this gem.)
My husband and I are fairly relaxed individuals, but we turn 30 within the next year, so it’s that weird age when you go, “OK what have I accomplished so far in my young adult life and what’s next? Turtlenecks? I have exactly 3 months to become a doctor, become a CEO, join a boot camp, and become a size 4. I’m ready.”
Then hours later, we’re catching up on our shows with a plate of nachos and a happy disposition. Until we’re scorned by some workout-or-die commercial and immediately I’m doing push-ups to save my life.
Here’s the thing, we all live in the here and now. Besides the holidays, birthdays, and everyday work days, we all have a significant purpose. As expressed here, mine is to be a mother. Not always glamorous and since there’s no gift receipt, I can’t take them back. In any situation, your life is relevant. The daily grind is best when starting with a positive outlook and ending with a sense of humor. It seems monotonous, but don’t forget it’s still an important path to get from here to there! One day I will wake up to a son that can potty like a rockstar!
Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.