The “would have been” milestones have a way of bringing grief back to the forefront. These are the times I dread most. The days don’t stop passing no matter how much I want them to stand still. Time is the growing divider between the present moment and the last time I saw her face.
I have been dreading this week since the day she left me. I have a hard time imagining what life would be like if she were still here, but I am certain she would be excited to be starting school. Instead of watching her get on the school bus, I will be sitting on the sidelines looking at photos and reading posts about other parents seeing their children off to school for the first time.
It’s hard as a loss-parent to read about how sad some parents are about these milestones. It’s hard enough to see these days pass by without her, but when others take these moments for granted, it’s like adding salt to the wound. Don’t be sad it’s happening, be thankful!
I’m not here to tell you not to be sad that your baby is growing up; I’m here to remind you how blessed you are that you get to watch your baby grow up! I’m not going to tell you not to be anxious about your baby being away from you all day for the first time because it’s hard not to know what they are doing or if they’re okay. I will, however, reassure you that your child is okay and well cared for!
Starting school is a major milestone for a child but it’s often one we as parents dread because it means our babies aren’t babies anymore. I am going to remind you that your baby will ALWAYS be your baby, no matter what! Nothing can change that, just like Bella will always be my baby. But Bella will always BE a baby because she didn’t get to grow up. Growing up means your baby is learning and experiencing, and this also means you have the privilege of watching them learn and grow.
So please, be grateful! Be present! And don’t let your thoughts affect your child’s experience (because they can sense our anxiety). Be proud! Be open, because your child is about to blow you away with how quickly they can learn. And most of all, CELEBRATE! We celebrate when our baby says his first words or takes her first steps, so remember to celebrate this milestone too.
This is a big week for many kids. I’ll be thinking of all Bella’s friends this week. Best of luck to you all. I hope you make your mommies and daddies very proud.