The Last Milestone You'd Expect to Make You Cry

sandalsEver since Rissa was a baby it has been impossible to keep socks on her for very long.  She used to kick them off, now she yanks them off as soon as her shoes are off.

But it’s not her socks that caught my attention the other day.

Not too long ago I got used to hearing “Mama take my shoes off!” Then it morphed into “Noooo I want to do it myself!” but after a few tugs and grunts she’d cry, “I can’t do it!”

Some days I’d take over, slipping her shoes off her feet effortlessly. Other days I’d place her warm, sticky hands around her shoe or boots, showing her how to pull them off easier.

Then there were days I couldn’t put up with her flip flopping between wanting to do it all by myself! and me doing it for her.  I’d insist she would have to figure it out.  That she knew how or needed to learn.  Inside I felt awful for making her cry over shoes that wouldn’t come off.

Until she freed a foot.

Her smile radiated pride and accomplishment as she jumped for joy.  ”I did it, Mama! I did it!”

Unfortunately, Rissa couldn’t always replicate those results.  We’ve had more tantrums over shoes than any woman should have in a lifetime.

I don’t even like shoes that much.  I cry when buying them, not while kicking them off at home.

And this year has been full of shoe kicking.

The new sandals I bought her as the weather warmed up have Velcro straps. They fit her well and are easy for us to put on a wiggly toddler. For some reason, they’ve presented a challenge to Rissa. Her sandals last year were loose enough to slip in and out of and she could usually pop off her sneakers.

But something about these, with their top strap and heel strap, caused a lot of trouble.

Recently she started getting them off on her own by literally flinging her feet around after undoing the straps. Eventually they’d fly off her feet in different directions. Or she’d bang her heel against the floor until they popped off. I always knew she was taking them off because of all the noise.

Until the other day…

We returned home. Her sandals clopped along the kitchen floor as she galloped into the living room. I finished getting myself and the baby in, along with the stroller, and unloaded the diaper bag from my back. Rissa trotted past with the quiet pitter patter of bare feet.

I looked down, my throat tightening. She had taken her sandals off… effortlessly… like a big girl.

These are the silent but telling milestones that sneak up on you, reminding you that they are growing up before your eyes.

What milestone has really made you cry ... that you didn't expect?


About the Author: Darcy Zalewski is a mother of two who spins Tales from the Nursery, which is -- not so coincidentally -- the name of her blog! You can catch up with her on Twitter, @DarcyZalewski, "like" her on Facebook, and follow her pins on Pinterest.


Image via Darcy Zalewski

kid clothes, learning, milestones


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nonmember avatar Clarissa

is rissa short for something?cuz everyone calls me Rissa too. (or sasa or salsa if they're under the age of 9)

nonmember avatar needsmorecoffee

That is a sweet story. Thanks for sharing.
My not-milestone that caught me was one day my daughter after never being taught to or attempting to try just casually got out a bowl and spoon and poured herself some cereal and milk. Made me sad and happy that shes becoming so independent.

nonmember avatar anniemouse

The milestone that got me recently was when he started making friends with the neighborhood kids...I'm used to my husband and I being his only friends. While it's nice not having to keep him entertained ALL THE TIME, it makes me sad at the same time that he doesn't need me like he used to.

Mec Camitan Arevalo

Oooh... I have felt the same for every shirt buttoned on their own, underpants worn on their own, shoes worn or laced on their own.

I've felt a little teary when my youngest sat on the toilet bowl on his own, or when the eldest started washing himself on his own.

I thank God for these milestones reached but I always require hugs from the hubby after...

bettels bettels

It will be a year on may 17 that we unexpectedly lost our 13 month old baby, This past easter when i found out my 9 year old no longer believes in the easter bunny I lost it! I relized that my little girl is now grown up and am having such a hard time with that, Having a baby i was so excited because i knew i had a child that still believed and we would continue to hit milestones but now that i no longer have that it is hard my 9 and 11 year old don't need me like they did years ago and i long for that so bad! Not sure if it is so hard because of losing 0ur baby or because the change in my kids seem so sudden especially my 9 year old it is just tough,.Enjoy even the littlest moments because one day we will look back and rilize they were the big moments <3


Angel Lynn Daniels

when my son learned about school without me knowing, and came up to me asking when he was going to ride the school bus to school. brought tears to my eyes.

Natalie Voytek

My husband thought it was incredibly endearing the day our oldest learned to sweep her hair out of her eyes. It's an odd thing, but he had a moment of pause over it

nonmember avatar megan

Mine was when my daughters clothes became to big to fit on the small hangers......

Morri... MorriganzMommy

The day my 7 year old got her first phone call from a friend, I nearly cried. Its the start of friends becoming better company then your family. (Sigh)

Imade... Imadearest

One I didn't expect, was when I took on a temp. part time job and I had to leave my first born then 15 months old, with my mom 4 days a week. 
I found out she had given him his first peanut butter and jelly sandwich..and...I missed it. I left work early, crying just to get home and hopefully see the jelly stains on his cheeks.
My poor mom had no idea what was wrong and didn't know it was his first!   

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