Our lives are highlighted by many milestones; the first which begins from the time we are born and take our first breath. As a parent and physician, it has been a wonderful journey watching not only my own children achieve their milestones, but observing hundreds of patients develop and mature.
As glorious as these milestones may be, such as spotting the first tooth peeping out or hearing the first word spoken, many of these milestones are also anxiety provoking. Personally, I remember being so excited when my firstborn rolled over to his tummy. However, this excitement was paired alongside with the horror of having my baby roll off the bed while I was napping with him. Although he didn’t even cry and remained asleep, I was horrified and guilt-ridden for days. Fortunately, there were no ill effects from his roll off the bed.
Flash forward a few years and my firstborn son has graduated from high school this summer. Definitely a major milestone in his lifetime! During our celebration with family and friends, we laughed and grew nostalgic as we shared our memories and stories of my son’s adventures in school. After many years of discipline and repeating oneself, it was truly my celebration as well – to witness my son’s accomplishment.
While most of my son’s milestones have been joyous ones, there have been many that were difficult ones as well. Of the difficult ones, the milestone of starting college and his decision to study music performance has proved to be the most anxiety provoking for his parents. After many hours of conversation and discussion about this decision, I drew reassurance and calmness from the following quote: “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me (Ethan) were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139. Just as my life has purpose and meaning, my son’s life equally has purpose and meaning. Furthermore, according to the quote from the Psalm, my son’s actions, decisions, and life choices are not mere accidental occurrences. What a burden lifted off my shoulders! No need to hover over his every move and decision!
As you journey down the path of parenthood; may you find joy, laughter, and peace as your child matures and achieves all of his/her developmental milestones. Make time to celebrate each milestone, and rest assured that what may occasionally seem like mistakes are not truly as it seems. Don’t spend too much time fretting! Enjoy being a parent!