Milestones. Some big, some small. All important.
Milestones are big parts of our life which have have a substantial effect on, or are big steps in our progress as a person. Below is ten milestones which parents should not miss!
1. First Steps
The day your child takes their first steps is miraculous. That momentous event that only happens once but is forever ingrained into your memory. When they get up and take one slow step at a time while you try to contain an insurmountable feeling of pride – after all, your child is walking! This is something which they will do for the rest of their life. One, if not the most basic action they can do but an action what is limitless.
2. First Words
It could be “Mummy” or “Daddy” or something completely strange! Either way, your child’s first words are a tear-summoning thing. To hear their own, independent voice. The feeling that they will go great places and that words will help them there. First words can be something to laugh about at an 18th birthday party or something to sit back and smile about when you’re down. Thinking back to those first words are a way to summon great happiness and comfort. You know that they might one day anger you but you also know deep down that whatever they say, it is something special as their voice is from you. This isn’t a moment to miss!
3. First Birthday
Every birthday is special but today they have been with you for one year. It’s been a quick year too! Through all the crying and diaper-changing, you have managed to pull through for the first year! It’s all up hill from here right? It’s a celebration for them but also for you. You have cared for this complex but beautiful being in front of you for a whole year. All the presents they have got, you know they don’t fully understand what it’s for but you can tell they have enjoyed the attention. Their first birthday is such a special moment in your shared development.
4. First Day Of School
If I remember correctly, on my first day of school, I cried about whether or not my jumper was alright.
The first day of school is a massive thing. It begins the start of a very long and eventful journey. School trips, tests and success: whatever your child does, school has created some success in them. On the video of me getting ready for the first time, I was so excited and didn’t even know how to put on the pair of trousers I had (my dad came and helped me put them on). No matter how old they are, if you capture this moment, it will always put a smile on your faces. There’s something about this occasion that is very special. It hits you that they are actually growing up and you can’t do anything about it.
You stand there, smiling as you take the picture. Your little one suddenly looks so much older. The memory of the time you spent on the beach when they were only a year old flashes in front of your eyes. He turns and poses with his date. You can imagine that in 10 or 20 years, he might be getting married. It hits you and you feel a twist in your gut. Prom is the day when your little one shows you how mature they are. Either in that smart suit, looking like a gentleman or wearing that dress and necklace you got her for her birthday. Prom is a very special occasion, don’t miss it or you might miss them growing up.
6. Leaving home
This gut-wrenching moment is the day you realize that your child isn’t yours any more. They are their own person. No matter how many times you tell yourself it won’t happen, it comes to the day when you wake up and immediately feel heart-broken.
The day they leave.
Every time you walk past their old room a little bit of you screams inside. Although it may be a tough milestone to go through, don’t miss it – even if it’s just for them. They will be ecstatic at the idea of living alone and will want to share that with you.
The day your now not-so little one graduates is a massive thing in their life. It opens the door to so many new opportunities. Whether a great job, new experiences or even meeting new people. Graduation signifies the end to a very long era of your child’s life. No more education and into employment with their shiny, new qualifications! Lots of tears will be shared at graduation but it is a wonderful thing to watch. Seeing your child shake hands and succeed. Going back to their friends with a grin on their face!
8. First House
“Knock, Knock, Knock”
Something seems strange about this. Asking to be let into a house; but not any house – your child’s. It seems so strange but as they open the doors with a big, welcoming smile on their face everything seems natural. They seem so comfortable in this environment – as if they’ve lived there all their life. It’s not something to just shrug off as a small moment in their life. This symbolizes the start of their independence in the world, completely self-sufficient from now on. A scary thought but it gives you a warm feeling inside, knowing you’ve succeeded.
The music plays as everyone turns around. The bride walks slowly but with purpose. While the groom stands, a tear in his eye. These two people seem so strange to you, you don’t know them, surely? But you seem to recognize one of them? It’s your child. The person who you used to bath and tuck into bed. The little voice who would say “I love you” as you turn off the light. You remember all their birthdays; the look of amazement and excitement as they want to rip into their presents. Now you’re stood here, watching them in awe. They seem so full of purpose and calm, so different from the little baby that cried in it’s cot all night. Marriage is an incredibly important moment in your child’s life. They have found someone they are happy with, someone who they care about and want to spend the rest of their life with.
10. Birth of your grandchild
The birth of your grandchild is such an amazing idea. The life you brought into the world is now in your shoes, looking down at a wide-eyed baby which they pledge to bring up in the world with love and care. You get into the hospital at 3 o’clock in the morning and you run to where your new grandchild is. As you walk into the room you have to stifle a gasp as you see them. Seeing your grandchild for the first time is like seeing your child for the time. It plucks at your heartstrings and plays a beautiful serenade. A moment that will stay with you all your life. You see yourself in your child as they look into their child’s eyes.
Featured photo credit: eopath via flickr.com