The exact moment when being a parent is the greatest gift of life

The second you look into your newborn’s eyes, you know one thing: After all the anxiety and the doctors’ appointments and the doubts you’d be a good parent — it was all worth it.

But no. Not yet.

You hold your child’s hand on his first day of school wondering if either of you are ready, only to watch him race onto the playground with a huge smile on his face.

Credit: Getty Images

Thinking of those late nights trying to comfort an upset infant, the drop-everything-now trips to the doctor, and the way you have shadowed him from the moment he took his first tentative steps, you know it was all worth it.

But no. Not yet.

You sit in the audience silently praying that the boy onstage, a sixth-grader unexpectedly comfortable in his first suit, does not stumble as he reads his prize-winning essay. Whether he performs well or not, you are extremely proud, happy he is there at all given the apathy toward schoolwork he’s shown while evolving from young boy to young man. You know one thing: It’s all been worth it.

Credit: Giphy

But no. Not yet.

You watch him back out of the driveway, his first solo in his new (old) car. You are scared to death, imagining the worst possible scenarios and not sure what the state was thinking in granting him a license at this age. But this is what a parent does; you give your child to the world and hope everything you’ve done has been enough.

Credit: Giphy

You think of the challenges thus far — his acting out, his sullen behavior, his constant testing of boundaries — and know he’s a good kid on the right path.  It’s all been worth it.

But no. Not yet.

You marvel at the man who sits next to you at the bar, signaling confidently for a beer as if he’s been doing it far longer than the week he’s been 21.

Credit: Giphy

Though he is a college junior and living on his own, you’re there when he needs it, though more for financial support than emotional. You read somewhere that it costs nearly $250,000 these days to raise a child. You realize it’s been worth every penny.

But no. Not yet.

Your phone chimes as you relax on the couch, another lazy Sunday watching football. You look at the screen and see a text from your child, not surprising, but certainly uncommon. You did ask him for the precise day and time of his graduation, but that was two days ago.

Credit: Giphy

You pick up your phone. “Just wanted to thank you for everything you’ve done. You’ve been there without fail. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without you.”

Credit: Giphy

And that’s when you really know: It’s all been worth it.

Every laugh.

Every tear.

Every moment.

And there’s still so much more to come.

Like All the Moms?

Follow us on Facebook.

READ MORE:

Is your kid a perfectionist? Then teach them this

Want to encourage your teen? Avoid this one key word

Teaching kids courage in a scary world

Parenting lessons from the playoff-seeking Arizona Diamondbacks