We walked past a few pretty flowers today. My nearly two year old daughter gleefully determined the size, shape and color of this floral display. I smiled in amazement of how quickly she’d developed this perception from just a month ago. The visual connections were evident to her before but now she could verbalize them. This captivation with nature quickly gave way to a desire to run. Her curly blonde hair bounced in tandem with a playful gallop. My daughter’s passage from baby to toddler had arrived.
Being a parent, one never seems to be fully prepared for the next transition in one’s child’s development. Despite the amount of experience or research one invests into parenting, a child’s growth spurt never fails to surprise. Feelings of panic and guilt arise as we fear we’ve not provided the appropriate level of time and energy to one’s children. “Where did the time go?!!” And yet, after the self induced crisis mode subsides, we reconnect with our children and hopefully move forward.
To a large extent, parenting can be described as an evolving work in progress. We’ve just scratched the surface on the vast potential of humanity. Trying to shape and harness such complex beings should be overwhelming. Template parenting does not work due to the simple fact that each child is different. Tighten your grasp on a child’s development and risk stifling creativity. Loosen your approach and inadvertently open the door to intangible corruptive influences. Yes ladies and gentlemen, raising children’s a tough gig.
Yet today was a beautiful day. I was conscious to soak it all in. I know there will be surprises ahead. My wife and I will prepare as best we can. Our kids will frustrate us, baffle us, and bring us priceless joy. We’re embarked on the biggest, most enduring journey of our lives. Might as well try to enjoy the ride.