I admit that in River’s early days I fell prey to the baby-comparison malaise that affects many new mothers. Especially since most of the moms I hung out with were from my pre-natal yoga class and had babies around the same age. Did their babies have hair, did they smile, gurgle, stand with assistance, roll over? I remember when River first rolled over how excited I was to go to post-natal yoga and let him show his stuff. I knew it was silly then and it seems ridiculous now. But I think in the early months I sought validation that yes, he was really a fine and wonderful baby.
In the early months, I received that validation because he was often ahead of his peers. As he got older, others started to meet certain markers before him. Mirena is only the most startling comparison.
At this point though, it no longer matters to me. I know that babies meet markers at different ages and that by the age of two or three, they will all be pretty much the same. More importantly, I’ve spent enough time with River to know that he’s sweet and bright and healthy. Nothing else matters. I don’t doubt that he’ll get to all the milestones that he needs to. And I’ll trust he’ll do it at the time that’s right for him.
It’s still interesting to see other babies just to see the wide ranges that exist and to acknowledge their progress as they move from one stage to another. Like River, who has his strengths and his weaknesses, they are all little individuals, making their place in the world at their own pace.