August is upon us – for many in the US, it signals a time for school to start, or at least for the start of ‘back to school’ thoughts. I know it brings mixed emotions for many parents – especially for their new ‘starters’ – letting your precious baby out into the world to fend for themselves. It is often scary and exciting, and for many parents a feeling of sadness or remorse that their children are growing up.
I often hear some parents lament “I wish my child could stay a baby forever” – this makes me so sad to hear. Do you really want this for your child? Do you really want a 6 year old that is still a baby? I don’t want my baby to remain a baby. I want to see him grow and thrive – reaching all the milestones along the road, no matter how long it takes. My baby almost remained a baby forever – the thought of it makes my stomach churn. We have had many struggles during the years, but with each accomplishment and all the hard work, I cheer him on. When we didn’t know if he would reach any milestones, each one has given me joy and amazement.
On the first day of school, I admit, I did not weep. I did not regret the passing of his toddler years. I was so excited for him – I was so thankful that my child was alive, thriving, growing and able to go to school. For some parents that does not happen – for some children, their milestones are very different; no less amazing and beautiful, but very different. These parents’ and children’s paths may be much more challenging – and I am sure that each time their child changes and shows growth these parents are beaming with joy. They see growth, not as death of their child’s toddler days, but as promise of the continuation of their child’s life – however long it may be.
Send your child out into the world with joy and excitement. Think about how amazing they are and all the incredible things that they have yet to do. There is nothing to mourn for on their first day of school.