Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adventures in childrearing: Milestones

Mile marker along the National Road, located in Columbus, Ohio. Digital photo taken July 15, 2005.

Do you know what a Milestone was in ancient times?

From Wikipedia:

Milestones were originally stone obelisks – made from granite, marble, or whatever local stone was available – and later concrete posts. They were widely used by Roman Empire road builders and were an important part of any Roman road network, in which when the distance travelled per day was only a few miles in some cases.

In our children, we watch carefully (especially with our first child) for milestones of a different nature. We want to make sure they're growing and maturing at a good rate...we want to make sure there are not things of a physical nature holding them back. This is why there are periodic doctor's visits and growth charts.

When they're babies, we celebrate each little milestone...first smile? Break out the camera! First tooth? Call the in-laws! First birthday? PARTY TIME with the whole extended family!

As they grow, it seems like our enthusiasm for celebrating everything about our children wanes a bit...perhaps we've gotten busy with little things like work and keeping the house clean. Perhaps we're dealing with more pressing issues such as health problems or financial stressors. Whatever the reason, we tend to need bigger reasons to break out the celebratory cameras and party streamers.

As adults, we have often gotten to the point where we don't like to celebrate our birthdays quite as much...maybe because they're a reminder that we're not getting any younger. Our children NEED us to keep celebrating with them. They need to know that we enjoy their company and want to celebrate their accomplishments. They need to know that we are proud of them.

Lately I've heard of people spending more and more money on birthday parties and such...but our children do not have to have the extravaganza that seems to be the norm now...they want US...OUR TIME, our presence, and our attention. Even for those of us who are not the most creative people in the world, spending some time one-on-one with our children lets them know that we WANT to be with them. Something as small as discussing the accomplishment of the day over dinner can tell your child that you're proud of his newest milestone.

So, do you have a milestone to celebrate with your child today? Break out the camera! Or at least, sit down and talk it over with them.


kandyblossom said...

Hi! Wonderful blog. You are so right we need to keep celebrating their accomplishments...even as they become young adults. Seems mine are reaching new milestones almost daily...just yesterday we had a birthday and a first day of college. Last week was a new job and first day of middle school.

Jacki said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! On Monday we celebrated my daughters first day of preschool, so I guess that is a pretty big milestone!