I've been trying to write a blog post for forever. It's a tough one because it's the kind of topic where it's really easy to be unintentionally insensitive. The post is supposed to be about loss and being grateful for average. I know people who've lost a child. People who've had to give up their entire idea of what raising a child will mean. And as a result, I've found my potential sentimentality tempered when it comes to ages and stages and the passage from one to the next.
Because I know how very lucky I am to be witnessing that passage. So many parents don't get to do that. More than you might think, whether because of pregnancy loss or still birth or because they've lost a child or the child they have is on a different path - one that's not exactly what we'd call growing up.
Being able to watch my child grow and learn and thrive is a privilege. It's not exactly a rare privilege but it's one most of us never think about. We hold on to the the past, misty eyed for what came before, or look far into the future forgetting to appreciate the now.
There's nothing wrong with nostalgia but there's nothing wrong with children growing up, either. It's wonderful and amazing and something to enjoy, so enjoy it. And while you do, spare a thought for those who can't and would give anything for that first day of kindergarten or to drive a newly minted adult to a college three states away.