By Jared Wigdor, Chief Impact Officer, Bright by Text
Working at Bright by Text for the past six years has taught me a lot about the stages of early childhood development and the critically important role that parents and other caregivers play in helping their children learn and grow.
But, as any parent can tell you, there is a big difference between a hypothetical child sprung from ultrasound images and the pages of parenting books, compared to an actual newborn that is sleeping, cooing, and screaming in your arms.
Becoming a parent has helped me better understand my own parents, and my own childhood and upbringing, in a whole new light. My wife and I brainstorm ways to recreate the formative growth experiences of our youth, from learning to swim and ride a bike, to visiting sites of historic significance and natural beauty, to finding quality time with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and extended family.
I am spending more and more time thinking about the kind of world my child will grow up knowing, and how different (and similar) that world is from the one I grew up in, or the one my parents or their parents knew.
Most transformational of all, I am astounded and humbled by the opportunity to see absolutely everything through fresh eyes. It is an enormous responsibility and privilege to be my child’s first teacher, helping form the foundation for lifelong learning. Even in these early pre-language months, the flush of joy from every toothless smile is speckled with stabs of empathy for every gas pain or hunger cry.
Each week, sometimes each day is a new adventure, achievement, challenge, or surprise that keeps me on my toes. I know my wife and I will continue to feel the bruises and bumps that tend to come, but we will also be celebrating each challenge faced and milestone achieved as our little one grows into a happy, healthy, successful adult.
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