Watching a baby develop has got to be one of life’s greatest joys; being there for all of those incredible firsts. It’s simply magical.
But when you’re a parent sometimes it’s easy to get hung up on the firsts you miss.
As babies do, Pords has been going through an amazing period of development. She has been getting around for a little while now and trying to climb on everything, just like her brother used to do (still does!), but she has just recently started trying to take steps while holding on to furniture. She now waves at appropriate times (rather than just randomly). She has been trying to get the hang of clapping and has just mastered that too.
Every day she does something new. It’s just wonderful to watch.
My husband saw her stand up for the first time the other morning. He called me in excitedly and said: “Look, she’s standing!” I had been busy doing something else and so, quite dismissively, said “She’s been able to do that for ages!”
That same morning she waved goodbye to him as he left for work. He said: “Is that the first time she’s waved?” This time I was a little less curt about it but still had to say no. “I never get to see any of the firsts,” He said sadly.
The truth is, even as a mostly stay-at-home parent, I don’t get to see all of the firsts. I was at my parents house and my Dad said “She’s clapping!” I thought he just meant the awkward hit-and-miss clapping that she’s been doing for a little while. But later she crawled over and started clapping again like she had just seen a brilliant show. Of course, first applause deserves a hearty applause. She was probably clapping herself; she had surely earned it. But it wasn’t the first applause, it was the second. I’d missed the first.
For a moment I was sad, just as my husband had been. But then I thought about it. Maybe she’s been clapping for weeks. Practising in secret in her cot at night. Fact is, it doesn’t really matter. As she grows I’ll be there for fewer and fewer of her firsts. But I’ll still think she’s spectacular when she tries new things. I’ll still support her when she needs help to learn. I’ll still applaud when she gets it right.
I can still marvel and find happiness in every little thing she does.
When her Dad got home that night, I told him that he had in fact seen a first that day. He had witnessed the first time that she waved to her Daddy. And that was a very special first indeed.