To be the parent of a ten month-old is to be in "watching and waiting" mode. We're watching for tooth #3, we're watching for allergies as he tries new foods, we're watching for signs that he'll pull up, and we're watching for a more even pattern of crawling. Each of these things is, in their own way, an awakening. To watch a (thank God) healthy child's brain wake up in a different way each day, showing another step on the journey of development, is to experience a depth of gratitude and awe unlike anything I have ever experienced.
Yet, waiting for each thing to awaken in its time requires patience and faith. I received a video of my son crawling at day care yesterday. I was delighted to see that he crawled almost across the entire classroom to reach his favorite toy because his crawling is progressing slowly. But I watched as he crawled awkwardly, slithering along using one arm more than the other. I found myself internally whispering, "Wake up...come on, just move your other arm."
Am I worried about him? No, he is a delightfully healthy and sweet baby. I have come to realize that I am just a little impatient sometimes and then lose the faith that everything will unfold in its time (and if it doesn't, we'll cross that bridge when it comes). Every baby website preys upon this part of parents: "just read this and you'll know if everything is normal." Upon reflection, though, I realize that I don't need him to be "normal." What is that concept anyway? What I want is for him to be healthy and to grow in his unique way--not his older sister's way, not the internet's way, but his way. And, I pray that I can find the patience to watch it unfold, to see each piece of his brain, his body, and his soul awaken and connect with us and the world. If I can sit with that patience, and the gratitude and awe which comes with celebrating this awakening, then I will truly love my son as he is, and I will be closer to being the mother I aspire to be.