This past week each of my three children did something that made me literally stop in my tracks and realize that in those individual moments they were blossoming right in front of my eyes. Usually their simultaneous blossoming has taken the form of them all needing new shoes at the same time but this time it was different. This time I could see the culmination of many life experiences coming full circle and I could see them revealing the individuals that they are growing up to be.
Firstly, my eight-year-old son shared a story about cheering on and encouraging a friend during a basketball activity at school despite others not being as supportive of his friend's developing skill. Then my four-year-old drew a perfect stick figure and all the letters for a word during a game of Hangman while we waited for dinner at a local restaurant. His drawings were previously charmingly limited to intertwined circles and a wobbly lowercase d. To top off the week, my 11-year-old daughter got a perfect cartwheel and roundoff down. She wasn't daunted being the new girl in the gymnastics class, or by the fact that everyone else seemed to be able to do back handsprings already. When I was her age that alone would have had me turning for the door had I ever even made it to the class in the first place.
Although each of these moments would have been completely unremarkable for a bystander, and could have just as easily been missed by me, each was a significant developmental milestone for different reasons. This made me realize that when children are younger there are so many milestones that we take note of, capture and remember: the first smile, the first word, the first steps, the first day of school. As they get older we focus, not so much on the "firsts," but more on the "everyday" activities such as: school routines and daily habits that will set them up for success, extracurricular activities so they can test the waters socially and intellectually. Last week I noticed that I had been so focused on the "everyday" for a while that I hadn't taken a moment to take stock and to revel in the people that they are becoming. Most importantly to acknowledge that the life skills we wanted them to master, the character traits we wanted to instill, and the values that we wanted to share are beginning to show themselves.
So as springs starts take a moment to notice how your children are blossoming and in the midst of the "everyday" celebrate the role that you have played in making that happen.
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