Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Celebrating Milestones

In my Child Development class that I took in college, I remember learning about the milestones that different cultures celebrate in their child's development.  Americans tend to celebrate the milestones- crawling, walking, and potty-training- that reflect the value they hold in the highest regard which is independence.  Some African cultures, on the other hand, celebrate more a child's first attempt at sharing, which is reflective of the value they place on interdependence and developing a sense of community.

Last night as we were eating dinner, I was handing Calista bits of food off the dinner table.  It caught me by surprise when she held out her chubby little fist for the first time, offering me a soggy, squished piece of a regurgitated french fry.  Oh, the things that make a mother's heart melt!  My little Calista has yet to reach many of the milestones other children her age are reaching.  While the other 10 month olds are learning to crawl and jabber, she is content to sit quietly, smiling with her pot-belly poking out from beneath her shirt, wiggling her toes, and watching everyone around her.  How I love this little girl!

April 2012 001-1

April 2012 004-1

The other day I was watching a segment on the Today Show where they talked about a trend among some women who purchase absurdly expensive, life-like baby dolls and treat them as they would a living child with a nursery at home, car seats, feedings, and so on as a sort of "baby therapy."  While several bystanders who were interviewed found this trend creepy and disturbing, I felt sad for these women.  With Calista, more than any of my other babies, I have felt the deep, calming and soothing effect a baby can have on a person.  How I wish every person could experience the sweet spirit a baby like her can bring into one's life!  I can understand why people would search desperately for a substitution of such a blessing, even if it comes in the form of a doll.

While we celebrate each milestone she reaches, whether it be one of independence or of interdependence, I can't help but feel a bit of sadness knowing that with each passing day, this phase comes closer to being over.


Fortunes said...

I love that bottom cute!

Merrick Family said...

Thanks, Julia! I can't WAIT to see pictures of your new little one! Happy 10 year anniversary by the way!