Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Baby steps

The littlest one is walking. He has graduated from holding on to furniture and walls, and is instead wobbeling about through the house.

His first few steps looked like the movements of those little green army men when someone is propelling them forward. Now he has the more customary stance of other novice walkers, with the hands held up on either side of the head and a huge grin on his face!

I thought it would be a good idea to get a pair of 'real' shoes for him, since it is winter and he will want to walk outside. We went to the shoe store in bought the standard white, lace up, high top first time walking shoes. I set him on the floor to try them out. He refused to move. He became a wavering statue. No movement of the feet. At all.
Finally, I took his hands and urged him forward. He moved - by lifting each foot as high as possible and shaking it a little before setting it down to lift the other. He took about half a dozen steps this way before taking to the floor in a crawl.

This time of learning to walk is exciting for parent and baby alike. Parents have urged and cheered their baby to this milestone and are thrilled when the little sweet heart has shown mastery of this new skill.
Baby is aware, suddenly, of the many escape routes to freedom. Any door is fair game. Watch how fast they go from those first unstable steps to running at olympic sprinting speeds!

We desire our children to learn the skills to become independant from us. Our hope is that they learn to navigate life without needing to hold our hands at every turn. When they begin to assert their independence, we smile and revel the 'first' moments of pride as the sweet little babies learn forward mobility. Then, after a couple of weeks, when the newness of this skill wears off - no, wears thin - we realize that we battle the desire to scoop them up and cradle them close. To keep them safe and dependent - at least for a little while longer.