The First Mother

I know that I am not the first mother with the first child, nor am I the mother with the smartest child, but I can’t help exulting in my daughter. As my sister hung her new hexagon corkboard tiles on the wall, my daughter pointed triumphantly and said “oc-gon.” I stared at her for a moment, registered that she meant “octagon,” and burst out “YES! That is an octagon! You are so SMART!” She looked at me, a smile stretching across her tiny, bright face, and repeated herself to more applause. Then I gave her a high five and blessed Jack Black & Elmo.

I know that technically it was a hexagon, not an octagon. I know that it’s just a shape and not advanced math. But I can’t help being proud that she recognizes what she’s learning when she sees it in the real world. And I can’t help being amazed at her every little triumph because, even though I’m not the first mother, I am a mother for the first time. Besides, what harm does it do to be impressed by their little victories? It must be so hard and overwhelming to be constantly learning, oftentimes failing, and never done.

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