Tomorrow, July 4th, we celebrate our Nation’s Independence. The preparations got me thinking of how, as parents, we provide the tools for our children’s independence. Even though it breaks our hearts, a little, every moment we are preparing them for growth.
Allie is already an independent 8 year-old, going on 45. Preparing her to be independent means giving her the confidence to know she can do anything she sets her mind but nurturing the desire to include others on her journey.
Naturally, I wonder about Boo’s Independence Day. Will she ever have one? I know she is only 3! But I am a worrier and a planner. I want to know today what I am doing tomorrow. This is where Boo’s needs fit perfectly with my own. I need to plan and she needs a plan for every day!
One of the difficulties I face with Boo being undiagnosed is I do not know what her future holds. I do know that all children’s futures are uncertain. While I can imagine Allie being a wonderful dictator to a small Caribbean nation (hey, I want to retire to a beach and she loves ordering Boo around!), she may just run a household. And that’s okay. And it is okay that I will always worry that Allie is living a fulfilled life. That’s the definition of MOM, or it should be!
Boo is another worry. I just don’t know what her expectations should be. Should I expect her to be reaching for the stars or just concentrate on her teaching her to hold our hand? A year ago, Boo was using a pediatric walker. Today she is walking independently. This is where I have to stop and acknowledge her success. She may never reach total independence. But she will have moments of independence that I should remember to celebrate in small ways.
I have begun to set short-term goals, rather than long-term expectations.
Tomorrow, while I am attending the parades and fire department musters and watching the celebration of our Nation’s Independence Day, I will also remember to celebrate Boo’s accomplishments. In just a year she has become independent in:
· Climbing on-top of my kitchen table
· Signing “I want” and following up with verbalizing “cracker” (or her version of the word)
· Getting herself into and out of her toddler bed
· Opening her bedroom door
· Drinking from an open cup
Happy Independence Day, Boo! I cannot wait to see what the next year brings.