Today, my four-year-old colored in the lines AND colored something all the way in. He was very proud of himself. For a bit of background, my four-year-old is a perfectionist: if he can’t do something perfectly the first time, he shuts down and often refuses to try again for weeks. Last Christmas, we got him his first “real” bike. The kind with two wheels. He had only ever ridden tricycles before so was unfamiliar with the concept of brakes that work by pushing backwards on the pedal. He was so frustrated that day that he didn’t learn to ride until September. He also is one of those kids that never stops moving. Ever. He doesn’t stand in line for things; he wanders around touching things. He has always been more interested in building towers out of blocks so he could knock them down, rather than sitting and coloring for long periods of time. Basically, this was a big accomplishment for him. So we celebrated with a cookie.
Too often as moms we get lost in the day-to-day drudgery of child rearing: the never ending laundry, the word “no” constantly coming out of our mouths, the child that is always underfoot. And it’s nice to remember that our children are slowly but surely becoming people, functioning members of society that one day we’ll actually want to hang out with.
And so we celebrate the baby steps. Because in a day where my one-year-old discovered that in addition to splashing in the dog water with her hands, she can also get her entire leg into the bowl and my son with special needs screamed at the top of his lungs in therapy for a full ten minutes, I deserved a little victory. Even if it was just for coloring in the lines.