Life’s Milestones

Late last night, my daughter finally lost her first tooth. It had been loose for a month or so, but it wasn’t going anywhere quickly. Then last night she bonked her tooth on her knee and it was hanging by a thread. We were all worried she would swallow the tooth in the night, so she worked hard to get it out before bed. She finally asked my husband to yank it out, which he did. Though the tooth spent the night under a Dixie cup in the bathroom (so the cats wouldn’t play with it), the Tooth Fairy still arrived. We haven’t figured out how much the Tooth Fairy will bring for each tooth in the future, but since this was her first tooth loss, the fairy brought a Sacagawea dollar. My daughter figured out the myth of Santa Claus a couple of years ago, and I’m pretty sure she extrapolated to figure out the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and other mythical creatures and beings. For her, losing this tooth happened a little late, as she’ll be 8 this spring. Many kids lose their first tooth much younger. But hers fell out when it was ready. This was just the first of many teeth to fall out, but it is a milestone, like she’s starting another chapter in her life.

I’m coming up on my 36th birthday. That day will mark me having had my driver’s license for a full 20 years, quite a milestone. It doesn’t seem that long ago, but I guess it was! Having my license meant that I could get around by myself, without having anyone else have to help me. My first step to independence, and to responsibility. Sometimes I wish I could go back to before that day, even for a week. But only knowing what I know now, of course.

Probably the single most impactful milestone in my life was having children. I’ve always known that I wanted to have children. There was never a time in my life when I wasn’t sure, even as a little kid. Before I had children, I knew I hadn’t done everything that I wanted to do that was important in life. Now I know I’ve done all the non-negotiables. However, I still have to be around to raise them, and to thoroughly enjoy the raising of them, which I do. And hopefully I’ll still be around long enough to witness the entire raising of my grandchildren (both of my kids have already declared that they want to have kids someday). Of course, there are many more things I want to do in life, but that’s another blog entry.

Life is full of milestones, both wonderful and not-so-wonderful. Birth, death, marriage, having children, losing baby teeth, hitting puberty, being able to drive, being able to vote, getting your first job, retiring from your last job. The list goes on and on. Different people have different lists of milestones, and some are more important to people than others. What milestone have you had lately? Which milestones in your life have been the most important to you and why?