Posted by Duff

The Dervish has her own timetable. What she has decreed, let no mom put asunder.

Girlfriend has let me know in no uncertain screams that she will determine when she will do something for the first time, and I am to follow her lead. As in: Eff tummytime. I might roll before kindergarten. Look alive over there , mom. I’ve already climbed up the stairs.

I struggle to lock step with her. She won’t share her choreography in advance.

Even so, I would like to think she saves all of her firsts for me. And since they tend to occur on weekends and after dinner on work days, it seems she does. But let’s not be that naive. I spend a significant portion of her waking hours away from her. Those who care for her in my stead probably experience some of her firsts and spare my feelings.

How do  I make peace with that?

I find my own milestones. I’ve worked through my birthday, delayed celebration of my anniversary, observed holidays a week later than than the calendar.  Circumstances have demanded that I detach significance from specific dates and pin it, instead, to available moments. No whining allowed. I enjoy whining, so this took practice.

Alternative Milestones: The first time the Dervish smiled at me because I needed it. The first time she wore a barrette in her hair (and then ripped it out). The first time she asked for what she wanted to eat. The first time she picked a flower. The first second time she told me she loved me. ( I actually missed the first time and my husband’s hoot jogged me from my daydream about what I’d watch on TV later). I am living proof you can be sitting right there and miss an important moment.

A few weeks ago, the Dervish crouched to examine the whorls of our wood floor, and I stayed very still beside her. Crouching is a milestone that’s on some, but not all, developmental charts, and it is a lovely testament to the art of balance, both physical and cognitive. Though most of her body was perfectly still and relying on muscle control, her brow was furrowed and her mind was working feverishly on…whatever it was working on. She didn’t say.

These moments are the angels in the architecture. Stop. Focus. They are everywhere.

And then she was off, whirling per usual.

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