Last weekend we celebrated Essie’s first birthday, and it would be safe to say a good time was had by all. Cake…ice cream with toppings…root beer floats…fresh fruit…a room full of toys for all the kids to play with…and of course, presents and the singing of “Happy Birthday” to the sweet little birthday girl. But there was one thing about the day that was a little different than what you see in most first birthday pictures…NO CAKE MESS!
Dwight and Emma put the cake just out of Essie’s reach so we could sing and they could ‘help’ her blow out her candle. I know—nothing so different about that. But when they put the cake in front of Essie for her to dig into, nothing happened. She wasn’t interested in getting covered in frosting and cake. They put her hand on it and yes, she grabbed a handful, but as soon as she did, she started wiping it on her highchair. She didn’t want anything to do with it.
One aunt was relieved she didn’t turn into a chocolaty mess while another was a bit disappointed she didn’t. That’s the way it is with life—you’ll never be able to meet everyone’s expectations and you shouldn’t expect your children to, either.
Yes, every child (and adult) should be expected to obey the law, treat themselves and others with respect, do their best in school, and strive to be the best possible ‘them’. But your child’s best will not always be the best, and that shouldn’t matter one teensey, weensy, bit. And how they go about being the best possible ‘them’ won’t always look like you or anyone else thinks it should look, but as long as they are happy, learning to make the most of their talents and abilities, and are taking steps toward maturity and growth, then it’s all good.
Face it, some kids meet or exceed all the ‘normal’ expected milestones, while others don’t. NO BIG DEAL. Some kids go after life with gusto—mastering everything they try, while others are more timid and don’t like to compete or spend time in the spotlight. NO BIG DEAL. Some kids are bookworms, while others are more grounded with good ole’ common sense. NO BIG DEAL.
Remember…a well-rounded, happy, moral, and socially responsible child is the goal, and the best way to help this happen is to help and encourage your child to be the best ‘them’ possible instead of worrying about meeting everyone’s expectations.
Copyright 2015 Darla Noble. No part of this can be copied or reproduced without permission from the author.