The Boring Word About Milestones

October 16, 1985

We just passed another of those milestones in life. Our first born received her nurse’s cap. Needless to say the whole family made the three and one half hour drive, suffered through a college dorm meal and sat through a one hour service in order to be a part of this special day in Beth’s life. We also took dozens of pictures and bought cards and gifts.

Being the oldest, not only of our three but also of my parent’s grandchildren, Beth has always had a great fuss made at these milestones. Everyone came to her baptism, we took pictures on the first day of kindergarten, and grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins have attended numerous musical concerts, plays, etc.

However, I don’t have confidence that such attention will continue for the remaining four grandchildren. I’ve noticed that now when I announce that it’s time for the Christmas band concert even doting grandma sometimes has other plans. Of course now there are four concerts to attend not one and if each of the kids has a play, Brownie fly up, dance recital or other production, etc. you can quickly find yourself with no empty spaces on your calendar.

As attendance has dropped the children have been known to make deals such as the one last year when my niece agreed to attend my son’s concert if he in turn would attend hers.

Of course, my youngest son has always known what it is like to feel a little neglected. His first awareness probably came when he found his baby book with all of the spaces still empty. I quickly showed him all the papers from the doctor, cards from family, and pictures of friends stuffed in the back which I am going to record just as soon as I have a free minute.

His sister’ book is crammed with information up to age three (when her brother Chip was born). Between three and five there are several empty spaces and Chip’s baby book is very similar. The year David was born all three books have only the bare facts.

I sometimes worry if I am the only mother who doesn’t record her children’s life stories. But the other night at a family birthday party my aunt (the youngest of five) stated she had never seen a photograph of herself as a small child. Perhaps I’m just carrying on a family tradition.