Before my son was born, someone gave me a lovely calendar for me to track the first year of his life. Each page had ample space for me to add pictures of him, and included stickers to mark all his milestones, significant events, and even visits from grandparents on their appropriate date. While I haven't yet added any pictures to the calendar, I was able to get those stickers on the approximate day each one occurred. Approximate because I updated the thing once every few months. Grandparents were updated a bit more regularly, but usually in a nonchalant manner a week after the fact, and only because they asked.
Now that he's three, I find myself doing all sorts of little happy dances over milestones, and have to refrain from announcing to everyone I see that my kid understands that we use letters to make words. Or that he just memorized a book so he could read it to me. Or that he picked up a new book and told the story by looking at the pictures. That he has phonological awareness. That he draws people with eyes, mouths, arms, legs, and necks. That he can draw a recognizable train. That he can identify 5:30 on an analog clock. That he can represent the number of people in a room with his fingers. That he can put the silverware away. That he memorized the First Commandment and it's meaning.
I shouldn't be surprised by any of this. After all, I sat through four good years of teacher education studying how children develop and learn. Yet, it astounds me to watch all of this unfolding. It astounds me more than any of those other important first year milestones ever did. My kid is an early emergent reader. My kid is doing simple math. My kid is understanding his faith.
I'm sure it merely reinforces the fact that I'm a complete nerd, but really, why can't we get some stickers for these exciting times?