When our children are babies, we measure their progress in milestones...sitting, crawling, eating solid food, walking, talking, etc... In my work in Early Intervention everything is based on milestones. People write books that parents read then add to their worry about milestones and development in babies and toddlers. As the children get older there are still some big milestones like first day of school (or homeschool), first lost tooth, first day starting an instrument, concerts, etc... but the milestones for each child become more individualized to that child and family. Every child has different interests and often the milestones are more abstract or there is no set time when they should happen. In Suzuki violin, there is a set repertoire so each piece or book can be thought of as a milestone but as you move out of the Suzuki repertoire, it is more difficult to "see" where they are going or where they have been.
Those big milestones are exciting and fun to document in pictures and blog posts but sometimes what I like best are the little "milestones," those things others would never notice or pay attention to or that we might take for granted if we didn't think about them. In our house some of these include...
-the first time I realized Newt had outgrown his teen angst stage and was no longer such a pain
-when Newt gained the maturity to work daily to improve his wrestling
-when Dylan began to take ownership of his guitar playing and started really enjoying it and practicing without me telling him to
-when Dylan began to really "hear" what chords he needed to play without anyone telling him
-when Dylan began improvising and adding his own touch to his tune accompaniment
-when Haley was able to practice a bit on her own
-when she became more careful in how she practiced so rather than just playing through pieces, she was picking out small bits to perfect before moving on
-when Haley sat and watched a Pre-Algebra lecture on computer, stopping it and taking notes then doing the problems without help from me
These are still rather big things but sometimes there are smaller "milestones," things I almost miss when they happen and don't realize until later they have been passed like Haley fixing some small detail in her technique, Dylan learning and adding new chords to his repertoire, or Newt incorporating a new move into his live wrestling. Sometimes with Haley's violin playing I don't realize until I haven't mentioned a certain detail in the past few practices that it is even fixed and could almost just forget it was an issue. The other small things are like that and I might look back a few months later and think..."Wow! Isn't it neat how he/she can do that now!"
I don't want to miss anything in my kids' lives. I want them to know that I do notice when things change for them. It's part of the reason I like to blog.