I was in the library last week, and a mother I do not know saw R pull himself to standing.
“How old is he?” she asked, smiling as she offered the typical introductory question.
“Ten and a half months” I replied proudly as if his simply getting older is a personal accomlishment of mine.
“Oh wow, he’s advanced isnt he?”
Little did this stranger know how shocked I would be to hear those words. I literally had no reply as I objectively assessed my sons progress.
My boy is almost eleven months, and every day he discovers more about his world. Having not been able to see until five and a half months, and having leapt forward in all areas of his physical development in the last three months, he is very much in a ‘blink and you’l miss it’ stage of life. Every day I realise there is something new he can do, and every day he is struggling towards the next step. He was barely creeping before he was crawling, and barely standing before his new cruising trick, and I can see that letting go is only around the corner.
Hold on! Where’s my baby? Where’s the little snuffly thing that used to keep us up at night making random noises in his sleep? I think because of R’s eyesight or lack of, we experienced the newborn phase for longer than many other parents usually do. My baby was still lying on his back flailing arms and legs at 6 and a half months, when most others are sitting up and playing independently.
Maybe this is why I’m finding the last month or so, although exciting, a bit bewildering. After 9 months of endless worry and appointments, when people ask me how he is, I can finally say, (vision aside) amazing! That lady in the library was correct, he is in terms of his physical development (if not advanced) certainly not behind anymore for his age.
I am so incredibly proud of all that he has accomplished in his short life, and the perseverance which he approaches each new stage of his development. It’s almost as if he stays up all night practising, nonchalantly displaying his sitting up unaided in the morning as if he was born doing it. It appears to me that overnight he has changed from a completely dependent 7 month old newborn, to an incredibly independent, aware, and confident 11 month old toddler. The truth is he is still somewhere in between, not understanding a word that comes out of our mouths, but confident enough to try a quick taste of the radiator for funsies.
All I know is I cant take much credit for it. I’m just along for the ride. Watching my son who has already achieved so much, I can only pray that he can take this bravery, perseverance, curiosity and above all love for life, into his adulthood.