Milestones and Benchmarks

When Ted and I are traveling, we do a lot of daydreaming about what our lives could be like in the future.  We talk about dreams we have, vacations we want to take, business ideas, and all sorts of fun stuff.  It helps us to hope that there is happiness ahead because life is still incredibly difficult and we are so heartbroken.  Sometimes we will mention "family" vacations or new neighborhoods with "good school districts" but we still never really go so far as to fantasize about Mo in the various stages of his future life.  It almost seems to good to be true....that he might grow up.  The truth is that Ted feels much more confident that it will happen than me.  Everyone is.

In the back of my head is a nagging voice that tells me scary things that I push down and try very hard not to listen to.  I see that Mo is happy like Max was.  I know that he checks out healthy at all of his physicals - like Max did.  He love yams and puffs - like Max did.  He sits but doesn't crawl - same as Max at this age.  Seeing my second little boy moving along at the same speed as my first little boy scares the living daylights out of me.

I recently attended an event and was talking to the grandmother of a very advanced baby.  This baby was walking around by 7 months and talking at less than a year.  I complimented the grandmother saying that her grandchild was so advanced.  The grandmother thanked me and then added that I had no reason to worry about Mo (didn't say I was worried about him but...ok) - that all children advance at their own pace and afterall, "they all grow up eventually".  Kind of a stupid remark to make to someone whose child DIDN'T grow up, but this grandmother says stuff like this to me without thinking all of the time.  She means well I am told.  It is astounding how truly dense some people are.

I honestly (HONESTLY) believe that every child advances at their own pace and I never worried about it for one minute with Max (not ONE minute).  And I never worry that Mo isn't advanced enough.  He is perfect in every way in my eyes and he can take all of the time he needs to learn how to crawl.  But the truth is, I do worry about Mo...but it has nothing to do a fear that he is going to grow up and still not know how to crawl or walk. My fear is that he won't grow up.  Honestly, it doesn't really take a genius to figure out that that is my fear right?  I mean, in my experience, my children don't live to see their first birthdays.  In my experience, we are approaching my last days with my lovebug.

If Max had lived even one more day - I am sure we would have seen him crawl.  He was THAT close.  I would give anything to see Mo crawl.  It is a benchmark for me - one that says (no, HOLLERS!) -"YOUR CHILD WILL LIVE!!!!!!"  You see, crawling has nothing to do with the benchmarks and milestones of other people's kids.  Crawling is a milestone that I need Mo to reach to put some of this suffocating fear to rest.

There is another little voice inside my head that says "Calm down!  This couldn't possibly happen twice"....even though I know it does.  "But the statistics say....", the voice begins... and I want to SCREAM at that voice because those statistics didn't save my Maxie. (F*** YOU STATISTICS!!!!)  But, I don't scream at that voice.  Instead I listen to it and try to take comfort in what it is trying to tell me.

These weeks are hard.

1 comment

Tiffany Torres said...

omg, i could have written this. i have had a couple of people say that "they all grow up." except, one of mine didn't, so thanks. and i have a coworker who despite knowing my story will still say thoughtless things to me. like i need to have another child so baby girl can have a "playmate." thanks for the painful reminder that my 2nd child is an only (and apparently in your eyes) lonely child.

the milestone that i NEEDED her to get to was to say "momma." the one thing that i grieved heavily was the fact that i never got to hear Julius call me his mother. i was so devastated by that. and when baby girl finally did, it was music to my ears. and it helped my heart heal just a little to hear my child acknowledge me as a mother. hoping Mo's crawling does the same for you.