Developmental Leap

Sometimes I wonder if I omit too much of the grit. When I sit down to write, my mind wanders to the beauty hiding inside the day, even when the day isn’t an easy one. Gratitude springs up, sturdy and determined, like the tomato plants out back.

But there is the dirt and muck and mess too. There is a toddler alternating between laughter and meltdowns. Her language bursts with new vocabulary and complex sentences. She knows entire songs by heart and demands Baby Beluga on repeat. She hops like a frog exclaiming, “ribbit!” She is keen and witty and charming. And lately, during transitions, she exerts her will, throwing her body backwards and soaring into hysterics, drawing out a high-pitched wail, sometimes just for the pleasure of being able to make the sound, release all that energy.

When she was a baby, I felt blindsided by these phases. Now I quickly identify them as developmental leaps. Knowing that they’re temporary helps. Sometimes I’m able to mitigate a tantrum with grace. Other times I lose it and let her know I can yell just as loudly.

It’s hard not to kick and scream through uncomfortable transitions. Adults have their own internalized versions, that undercurrent of anxiety, the lower-pitch of a grumpy mood. Perhaps our developmental leaps can’t be mapped as predictably as a child’s, but we too stretch and grow, acquire new skills, see the world in new ways, grow into the next version of ourselves.

(Post 162 of 365)





6 thoughts on “Developmental Leap”

  1. I love this- embracing the grit. I think it is important to write it out (as you ride it out) and it is also difficult, especially because even in the dirt and muck, you are grateful. Not enough peeps are willing to shake the dirt out- I love that you did here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, writing it out as I ride it out! Gratitude is always there–sometimes it just has to be pulled from the mud and hosed off. Writing always gives me that opportunity. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s funny because I never for a second would have thought of that – why does she only show the beauty? I’m just so grateful for your gratitude. And yet when people post only perfect and beautiful pictures, I do feel critical. Why do I see those as insincere and somehow unfair in their insincerity, but I see your writing as gracious and grateful while at the same time cutting to the bone, to the truth of how we live? I think in the maple tree, the puddle-dancing toddler, the container filled with caterpillars, to me there is always an exquisite pain to the beauty, the gossamer quality, as if by holding up those moments in freeze-frame you are also acknowledging how quickly the days pass, to the impossible dream of being able to hold them…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rachel, thank you for these beautifully articulated thoughts. I’m so moved by this comment, I hardly know what to say. Certainly it’s the loveliest thing anyone’s said about this writing space. And I’m so grateful you’re able to see what I try to capture, the “gossamer quality,” the quickly passing days, and “the impossible dream of being able to hold them.” I’m not sure we ever let go of that dream, but perhaps that’s the trick to remaining alive to our experiences.


  3. Oh wow I just came back here and saw your response. My younger is only a year older than yours, but somehow I feel like you are capturing a time that feels far away for me now. Yes…let’s hold on to that dream…remain alive to our experiences. Thank you for helping me to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

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