Weeks before the 5th of February this year, I thought to myself,‘There is NO WAY I’m refusing to get a cake for my baby’s FIRST birthday!” It annoyed me, angered me even, that I was the only person who seemed to get it. This is one of the biggest milestones of his life.
He has lived through his first year EVER on earth. Does no one get it? Is this not cause for celebration? Who cares about the money or the fact the he doesn’t know a thing that’s going on where this is concerned? The point is, my son will be a yearrr!!
He has transitioned from a creeper to a walker, from a mute to a babbler, his writing hand, well rather scribbling hand has been identified, he has the ability to feed himself…well with a mess of course. He can reach places he’s never reached before, he points to what he wants, he claps, he sings, he mimics… He has GROWN! I’ve watched it, suffered through it and I sure will celebrate it!
I’m celebrating his accomplishments, his milestones, his growth! Yep, that’s it. I’m getting him a cake!
It’s true what is said, dealing with growth can be difficult especially when it comes to facing hardships and letting go. However there are ways in which we can cope.
1. Acknowledge that Pain is a Part of the Process
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while climbing it” – Andy Rooney
I remember like it was yesterday, when I attempted bike riding, hiking, maths and cooking for the first time. They all bore the same result after the first attempt. Frustration. Something would always go wrong and at times there was no one to cheer me on, no one to help me correct my mistake.
Giving up seemed easy until the recognition that I had no choice, settled into my adolescent mind. At college, I needed to eat and if I needed to eat then I needed to learn to cook. In elementary school, I recognised that if I wanted to ride around the neighbourhood with my friends, then I needed to learn to ride my bike.
In Secondary school, I recognise that if I wanted to have a good academic record, then I needed to pass Mathematics. Trust me, there were many tears, pen throwing, cuts, burns upon burns, drenched sheets and ripped pages.
However, these things though not forgotten, became small when the goal was reached. The process was indeed hard but the success was liberating. Now, I’ve grown to the point where these things are like second nature and I cannot deny that the process helped that.
I didn’t get here on my own though, I had to ensure that the harsh words thrown at me during my weak phases did not get the best of me. Statements such as “Get up! Try this way. You’ve disappointed me. Look how much I’ve wasted in my choice to invest in you.” Believe it or not, enduring these moments are the things needed to help you grow.
Proverbs 1:5, “A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel”
We parents like God, chastise those we love. Yet we often choose to disregard wise counsel, harsh words, and refuse to see harsh situations as part of the process towards our growth. Instead, we give into the frustration, whilst going through.
If this does not apply to you then good for you but to those who can relate, it’s time for our mind-sets to change. If everything is always going good in my life, I’m stagnant. There is nothing to propel me to want more, to give more or to grow.
I’m not sure about you but I remember those growing pains in my legs. The painful ones my gran had to use her special remedy for. Olive oil and a good massage. They hurt and hurt but I’m taller because of them. (chuckle) My point? There is pain in growth but we need to embrace it with confidence that there will be something beautiful in the end.
2. Spiritual Growth is Key to Natural Growth
“Read your bible pray everyday and you’ll grow grow grow…Neglect your bible, forget to pray and you’ll shrink shrink shrink”.
Remember that popular song we all sang at prayers for primary school or at Vacation Bible School? Well it still has merit today. Feeding the spirit enables God to speak through and to you, ensuring that the best decisions are made by us for our children and in our own lives. I have been saved from many centipede bites just by listening to His voice.
Sounds funny but true. My son has also been saved from many an infection because I sought His counsel. However it took time, discipline and practice. Include your children in your devotions while dressing, preparing for school or whilst tucking them in at night.
Find ways for you and your children to grow together.
3. Finally, CELEBRATE YOUR GROWTH
They did it, We did it! Take time to reflect and acknowledge how much you’ve matured, how “almost” easy parenting has become. Acknowledge your “firsts,” how you handled them, how you’ve survived through them and after that, celebrate your milestones. They’ve made you, YOU!
My son’s only meal when he came into this world was milk. It was just what he needed to survive in an entirely new environment. But though he needed it, it did not keep him for too long. He cried every three hours for more and it took a lot of energy from me. Now he eats solids which provides the strength he needs for this age. He enjoys it and knows it’s good for him. When we grow, we help or give instead of take from those around us, we become strong and a benefit to someone else.
It’s time for us to do away with the milk, let go of our mistakes, hurts, our past and eat solid food.
My son enjoys eating his cake now! Wouldn’t you also like to?
“ And Now, Let The weak say, “I Am Strong”- Don Moen
If you have any experience, encouragement or insight to add to Reneika’s post feel free to comment below. Go ahead and start the conversation!