One anti-silver lining of voracious blog reading is that you begin to measure your own life (or marriage or kid or insert any ol' noun here) against the lives (or marriages or kids or insert any ol' noun here) of others, and although this is normal, it's also dangerous because if you measure often enough, you're bound to come up short against someone.
At a pediatrician's appointment once, I mentioned Kyle wasn't sitting up yet, and I was a little worried about it. My doctor looked at me, confusedly, and said, "Worried? Who said he should be sitting up now?" I shrugged my shoulders, possibly mentioned Google, but what I really meant was Google READER because although I had no idea when the average baby sits up, I knew that so-and-so-blogger's baby sat up at four months old. And let me tell you, dear friends, this type of thinking is the first step toward Crazyville. Who does this? Other than INSANE people?
I've been walking around the house lately, fretting over Kyle not clapping, not saying "ball" clearly enough, not calling me "Mama" yet, not walking yet. Who knows when he'll hit these milestones. I do know, though, that measuring him against any other baby is the worst possible thing I can do for him, for us.
Someone super wise and someone I find myself turning to a lot these days as my parenting mentor recently said, "What would it really matter? It won't change how much you love him."
And then I cried.
Because it's true, and it's always been true. What I had to admit (to her, to myself) is that it's not MY feelings or even KYLE'S feelings I worry over (it's a happy, albeit messy, home most of the time). It's yours, theirs, everyone else's.
It's the quality I hate most about myself. The quality that sometimes takes my focus out of my own, love-filled home and puts it out there, onto what others think.
I don't know when Kyle will walk, talk, clap his hands. But, man, he's so much more than milestones. He's perfect. And if you don't agree, I'm going to quit giving a damn about you.