“Comparison is the thief of joy!” … and it robbed me of joy as a mother.
From the time my son started preschool, I began comparing.
During the first week, I noticed a couple of the children were already writing their names. Peter was just beginning to scribble something that kind of resembled letters. Was my son falling behind – in preschool?
In first grade, a couple of boys were reading chapter books. One boy finished the Harry Potter series before Christmas. Peter was just learning to read. How would my son ever succeed as an adult if he couldn’t read?
This dreaded feeling of “falling behind” weighed heavily on me. Did Peter learn to write his name? Yes! Did he learn to read chapter books? Yes! But he much prefers reading statistics.
If I could go back in time, I would cherish those moments when Peter was just learning to write his name — with backward “Es”. I would watch with maternal pride as Peter read baseball stats in the sports section of the local newspaper — instead of chapter books.
I can’t go back in time, but I can appreciate Peter’s success now as an adult. And I can tell parents to cherish those scribbles on the page when a child’s unsteady hand is just learning to form the letters of the alphabet – without glancing at the paper on the other child’s desk.