Another Unusual Milestone

Do you ever look at your child and feel amazed and honored that someone so wonderful came out of your body?

I wrote here about unusual mothering milestones that aren’t often celebrated or discussed in parenting books, but that are nevertheless very meaningful. Well, we’ve just reached another. This morning, W and I were sitting on the couch hanging out together. I was checking my email, and she was watching cartoons. She was dressed already, even though normally she stays in pjs until after breakfast and email/cartoon time. Getting dressed was her decision; after I changed her diaper, she marched over to her dresser, opened the drawer with her shirts, and picked one out. She carefully closed that drawer and opened the one below it, which contains her shorts. She picked through them and selected a pair, and I provided (minimal) help as she got dressed. The outfit she selected wasn’t one I would have picked, but the combination was really cute. A few minutes later she decided to add a necklace, and asked me if she could pick one out of my jewelry box. Once again, her selection was not what I would have gone with, but it was adorable. It was perfect, actually, and not in an oh, how cute, she dressed herself kind of way. No, when my daughter dresses herself, she looks perfect in an oh my gosh, you look really put together kind of way. She has a great sense of style, hence the unusual milestone: I realized this morning as I sat on the couch next to my very well-dressed daughter that I really admire her. 

Realizing that I actually admire W — not just love her, not just think she’s cute and fun — represents a huge step for both of us. For her, it means she’s become capable of doing more (and thinking more) independently than ever before. For me, it means I’ve recognized her growing independence. She’s becoming her own little person, and more importantly, she’s becoming a person who doesn’t always do things exactly the way mama would do them. Even though that may mean clashes of will and arguments in the future, it also means that our relationship can start to develop in a whole new way, because she’s not just an extension of me anymore. How exciting.

 

What unusual milestones have you celebrated?

 

 

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