Every mother remembers her baby’s first word, the first tooth, the first step. Some babies walk at nine months old, some at twelve or even fourteen. Many mothers worry when their baby’s development isn’t “typical” or takes longer than average. And those worries are totally normal, completely rational and only indicate that you, as a mother, are paying attention.
My baby never followed the typical stages of development. We always assumed that one day, and we weren’t terribly concerned with when that day would come, he would eventually catch up.
At two and a half years old he only spoke a few words, walked with the assistance of a gait trainer and was fed solely by g-tube.
But the progress he made since leaving the NICU at ten months was nothing less than incredible. Somehow that tiny little guy who could only manage to lay flat the day he arrived home began scooting, then rolling, then pulling, then propping, then sitting, then kneeling and eventually standing.
And every time he had even the smallest success, it was an enormous milestone to us. He overcame every obstacle put in front of him. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes it hurt. Sometimes it was frustrating. And sometimes he was just tired.
But when he conquered those miletones, there was absolutely nothing that could remove the smile from his face or the pride in his heart.
Today we celebrate our milestone of surviving our first Christmas with our sweet baby in Heaven instead of here at home with us. But we will continue to face our challenges, and each time we conquer them, everyone will see the smiles on our faces and the pride in our hearts because we learned from the best.