All the stages of raising a child from birth to adulthood have a distinctive experience about them.
From the first time a newborn’s face smiles in obvious recognition to seeing you, to their first words, their first steps, their first insistence on independence, each brings a sense of both immense joy and a bit of sorrow with each passing moment.
It is a bittersweet experience raising a child, overwhelming at first until they become less dependent, when you realize how much you loved each moment of their total reliance on you. This change is subtle but relentless, until the day comes when you realize, while they will always be your child, they are no longer a child.
There is much satisfaction in seeing what was once such a tiny, fragile life go on out into the world and you know, as best as anyone can in this uncertain life, that they are now more than capable to thrive without you.
While we all knew this was the goal from the moment of birth, it doesn’t make the transition any easier.
Nothing brings this home more than the first time you see your child caring for their own little child. All those moments come rushing back in torrents of memories, tugging at your heart as you recall those times.
And yet this metamorphosis also brings with it a great sense of happiness, while your baby is no longer the child that depended on you for everything, she has become the most consequential of humans, a mother to a child,
There is no greater achievement in life than to play a part in its continuity.