You didn’t just take a step. You walked. On Friday, August 23, 2013, you stood up (BY YOURSELF) and took steps. You walked clear across the kitchen. You let go of the wall, the chair, our hands.
You did it.
Many people have responded in kindness and love- they have even been silly. Watch out, Mom! is their message. Here is why I am not worried- I do not dread your steps. Of course, I giggle at what other parents say- they are right… you are going to give me a run for my sanity (do I have that?). If I take my eyes off you for just a second you will surely be into something, but for all the times I roll my eyes at whatever it is you’re doing now, here is why I will (try not to) complain:
So many times we parents forget what a blessing it is to watch a life develop before our eyes. A child grows in the womb, is delivered into our arms, learns to nurse and feed, to cry for what they need. And then they learn to get these things themselves. Just a few days ago, you would point and I would often get. Now you point as you move towards your goal- your want. You are growing more independent by the day. Each item you so ungraciously drop to the floor, is truly more knowledge being dropped in your mind.
Yes, I said it. Addie- you’re dropping knowledge. On yourself!
For every tschotske that breaks, every drink coaster that is chipped, every record that gets a scratch- that’s not a tragedy- that’s a memory. That’s one less piece of junk on the shelf, one less person I have to invite over, one less record I have to lug to a new house (although, we really like our records, sweet girl- so be kind!).
It is something most, but not all, parents will see. You are walking.
There will be days that you will cause destruction, and I will tire of chasing you around. As my back is screaming, and my hair is showing how truly frazzled my nerves are, I promise you, baby girl, I will remember all the blessings that come with your new found mobility. You will one day soon run with me. You will (hopefully) be a big sister, and teach your sibling(s) that will determination you can achieve anything- including kicking the milestone chart’s tail! You will take your first steps into school which will lead to a million more steps to learning. You will walk hand-in-hand with your first love, and my last (we will call him Dada), and I will watch as you form a bond I so dearly miss of my own. These first steps are momentous- and you don’t even know it, yet.
I have the privilege to watch you grow. To learn. To experience. To succeed. To fail. To learn. To be independent. To get the hugs when you learn that some independence is overrated.
I speak for Daddy and myself when I say, one foot in front of the other, you don’t have to look back- we will always be here.
Even as we begin, I know the days of chasing you will end. As I wrote the other day (read it HERE), I will never know which day it will be that you choose to end one thing and begin another- that is life. There will be so many unannounced endings that I choose to celebrate each beginning-
regardless of the amount of work work it will bring to me because of all the joy your beginnings will always bring to me.
Congratulations on taking these steps- letting go of your hands is so bittersweet. Know that you can always place your palm in mine- the same at 16, as you did at 16 months. You are a miracle, and each step is testament to that. Thank you for sharing you life with me.