As a baby, I seemed to reach every milestone in an average fashion with the exception of a fairly obvious one: I was bald. Completely bald. In fact, I didn’t grow a lock of hair until I was nearly four years old. And although my mother was never concerned (“We knew you’d grow hair eventually!” she says), I can’t help but think of how I’d react if my daughter wasn’t growing, progressing or reaching the milestones I expected her to. But then, I think of how silly that is:
The historical definition for “milestone” is a reference point meant to guide and direct Romans traveling through unknown territories. And I can’t help but think of parents as the same: travelers. We’re all in unchartered territory, no matter how many children we’ve raised or how many books we’ve read. Each baby is so very different, and I have to continually remind myself that these milestones are just reference points. Nothing more, nothing less.
The important thing? As parents, we’re all traveling a path together that leads to the development of our children: from babies to toddlers to kids to teens to [gasp!] adults. And although the path is full of many incredible milestones, it’s the journey that matters most.
And just like the Roman travelers of years past, we’ll all get to our destination one step at a time.