Thursday, June 20, 2013

One of These Things Isn't Always Like the Other

Sometimes knowing you are going through the same thing as someone else can be helpful. Being a parent struggling with sleep schedules or temper tantrums, it can be nice to hear other people have dealt with the same thing. You aren't alone and if your friend or family member survived it than maybe there is hope for you as well.

When two kids in the same extended family are close in age it is inevitable that they get compared. When they are born six days apart, it can sometimes feel like they are twins. I have cousins very close in age and I loved it growing up. It's awesome to always have a partner in crime at family functions. But not everything about it is great.

I know that two babies the same age hit developmental milestones around the same time. But constantly hearing how Em is just like another kid diminishes my experience of these moments. Sure there are millions of 11 month olds around the world who are just discovering categories exist and that they can put objects in a bucket. But when my kid does it for the first time I want to feel like it's the most amazing, special thing in the world. I'm a first time parent. I've never gotten to experience this up close before. I want to be blown away by her first step. I don't want to be reminded that it's not all that special by hearing about how someone else's kid is doing the exact same thing.

I know the comparisons are not meant that way. I know they are meant as a joyous celebration of unity. And I'm not trying to say that I don't want to hear about my nieces and nephews. Cause I do. I want to hear about all the things that make them the unique human beings that they are. Likewise, there is only one Em in the world. She's unique and special in her own way. She's her own person and I love discovering who that person is. I want my daughter to always be the protagonist in her own story and not the sidekick in someone else's life.

UPDATE: Later this night, Em took her first step! I missed it because I was at a screening of a documentary about a rock. But my husband sent me video. It was totally amazing.

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