This is one of the dangers of being married to a pastor. After almost 20 years together, it rubs off on you just a little.
So if you would please open your copy of "What to Expect the Toddler Years" and turn to any developmental checklist that interests you.
The list I have chosen is for two year olds and these are skills they should accomplish by the age of three. There are a total of 71 items so we'll just look at a few of them.
- refers to self by name
- points to common object on command
- acts out a simple story
- draws a face
- engages in simple pretend play
- describes what happened in 2-3 words
- uses short sentences to convey simple ideas
- names common objects in pictures
- follows simple directions
As a BL parent, "Before Lily", I would read over checklists like this with a pencil in my hand, checking off the skills that Ryley and Reagan had mastered. And let me tell you, nothing made me happier than to look ahead and see that they demonstrated many skills of older children. I mean, my kids ain't average, right???
As an AL parent, "After Lily", I have thrown all those books in the trash, barely resisting the urge to start a backyard bonfire.
As a BL parent, I believed that I had quite a bit to do with my children achieving those skills. And I took for granted the fact that they would.
But I missed out on the miracle.
You see, each milestone that a child reaches is no ordinary thing. Think about it! A helpless newborn starts to recognize faces, learns to smile, grabs his feet and sucks his toes. Holds his head up. Reaches for toys. Crawls. Walks. Talks. And on and on it goes.
Each skill a child learns is a thing of wonder, a blessing straight from Heaven.
Am I asking you to feel sorry for me because my child hasn't reached those milestones listed above?
But what I am asking you to do is this - Pay attention! Don't miss it!
Your kids are miracles from the Lord. Treat each milestone with the wonder it deserves. Celebrate and have fun. Hug those babies tight and listen to them talk to you, even when they're driving you crazy. Have a tea party and marvel at the fact that they can pretend play. Throw the football and be amazed that they can run and catch.
Be an AL parent. Put that checklist and pencil down. Play with your kids and let God take care of the milestones. He will, you know.