I don’t tend to rejoice in the same sorts of developmental milestones as other parents do.
But there are some I truly revel in as a parent. There are some moments that I will relive in my mind over and over again for the rest of my life.
Yesterday was one of them.
My 3-year old had asked to play on the backyard swingset. Usually when she goes out there, she lays her belly on the seat, and runs back and forth, her legs and arms dangling in the air. After a few minutes of this, she gets bored, comes back inside, and asks someone to push her.
Fifteen minutes passed, and she didn’t return. I looked out the back window.
There she was, swinging as high as the height of the swing set, her braided pig tails flapping through the air, her smile as wide as a sunset.
She had learned how to pump on a swing. She was swinging completely on her own.
She didn’t even get a starting push.
She stayed out there, vigorously pumping, for thirty minutes straight.
I did not want to break this magical moment. I did not want her to know–yet–that I was watching her. So instead of joining her outside, I stood at the window the entire time, gazing at my youngest, my baby, her size 10 boots propelling her forward, the hood of her sweatshirt easing her back.
When she came inside, I nearly burst in tears.
“I know a girl who can pump on the swing all by herself!” I said.
“Really?” she said, clasping her hands together. “‘Cause I can do that now, too.”