Friday, July 31, 2009

Baby steps


We're at the playground on one of the first nice days we've had in what seems like forever, shaking off the fever, both cabin and viral, and slathering sunscreen. The bigger kids are playing make believe by the swings and climbing like monkeys on the aptly named bars. They're sliding down slides warmed by the sun and running through the slightly damp sandbox as fast as their coltish legs will carry them, golden locks trailing behind. CC looks on with longing, not quite satisfied with the mulch she's playing with, too small to run after her big sister. Too small to do pretty much anything within the confines of the fenced area. She doesn't like the feel of the sand on her bare legs today or the taste of it after she absentmindedly chews on a green plastic shovel, so she's crawled over to a shady spot under a tree where we sit and watch the glory unfold together. A small sigh escapes from her pink bow lips.

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The distance between the table leg and the drawer her sister is digging through is only about four feet but may as well be a mile. She holds on to the leg with one hand, the other willing the plastic containers and odd lid into her chubby fist, each colorful bowl like the Holy Grail. She lets go and takes one step, then two, then down on her diapered rump she falls. Instead of crawling to the drawer she crawls back to the table leg and tries again. This time she only makes one step before plopping down on the floor. Then again. And again. The most she manages is four steps before she gives up. Her sister, in a rare moment of kindness, brings her a purple rubber lid and a wooden spoon.

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She's getting the hang of this walking thing - Step, step, step, thump. Step, step, step, thump. She doesn't give up, she doesn't stay down - Step, step, step, thump. Step, step, step, thump.

I cheer quietly from behind her.

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From twenty feet away they spot me in the crowded airport and she tries in vain to wiggle free from her father's arms. He puts her down on the industrial carpet and through a sea of people busy rushing here and there she walks toward me, small arms waving wildly over her head like an orangutan, a big smile on her face because she knows she's accomplishing something amazing. It's hard not to notice the amused looks on the people's faces around us, the appreciative stares from older parents and the childless alike, but my eyes are on her while my heart threatens to burst with pride. I throw my arms wide to catch her as she propels toward me. I can barely keep the happy tears from pouring from my eyes. She is a wonder; a perfect, tiny human being with the zeal and moxie of someone ten times her size. She is ready to take on the world. She couldn't be more pleased with herself. I couldn't love her more if I tried.

32 comments:

bostonmama79 said...

new to your site. love it

She Likes Purple said...

Also new and also crying. This moment is one of the reasons I so desperately wanted to be a mom. The outstretched arms waiting for a toddling kid. Yeah, I can't see how life can get better than that.

Pocklock said...

What a sweet story. Mine is getting close to walking too. She seems to be getting more brave with each passing minute. It's so fantastic to watch a baby learn and experience things for the first time. I feel so lucky.

Tamara said...

Such a sweet post.

Major Bedhead said...

*sniffle* So lovely....

Megs said...

Found your blog through SheLikesPurple, and WOW, what a post to open to. I, too, have tears in my eyes, I can't wait for this moment.

Whirlwind said...

That's the most beautiful thing I've read in a long time!

SciFi Dad said...

Great post.

It really captures the moments between immobile and mobile so well.

sam {temptingmama} said...

Oh!! So beautiful!

We're still waiting for those steps here. Now I want them even more.

Audrey at Barking Mad said...

Sitting here with tears in my eyes and recalling that moment from Gaby Rose's own first steps.

After reading this, must remind my ovaries that they are in retirement.

Beautiful post.

AnnetteK said...

Ow. You just made my ovaries hurt.

Sagesse said...

Yep, also New and crying like some of the others...and I'm at work...damn.

Thanks! ;)

Sarah

Jenn@ The Crazies said...

Beautiful post!!

bernthis said...

this is the second one in a row that has made me cry. What is it about Friday mornings?

Beautiful post.

One Sided Momma said...

new blog stalker here. love your posts and feel every bit the same as i have a new crawler/soon-to-be walker in my midst too. thanks for writing about it so perfectly!

Childsplayx2 said...

I love first steps. The confidence is palpable in their little faces. Great post, my friend.

And I'm assuming the Sun Block was SPF 150, right?

Bean Sprouts said...

Yeah, I'm crying now. That was beautiful.

Lara said...

Aw, too cute! :)

TwoBusy said...

You're much more sentimental than me. I remember going straight from "Oh my god, (s)he's walking!" amazement to "Oh my god, (s)he's a stumbling and cracking skull-on-table accident waiting to happen" terror without passing go or collectign $200.

(That said... lovely story.)

wranglerdani said...

I'm one of the "childless" who grin stupidly at scenes like this. :) Love it.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Love this! I'm not sure how you didn't weep like a baby, esp. on about zero hours of sleep!

Heather said...

Go C.C.! She'll be running with her sister in no time now.

I always feel like I should offer condolences to the parents though. With my #2 and #3 I was not so excited for them to walk.

daysgoby said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful. I love that dazed I did it by MYSELF look they get, too, all pleased as punch with their cleverness.

Heather of the EO said...

That was SO well-written and beautiful. The imagery was just perfect.

Boston Mamas said...

Beautiful. I can envision it right along with you. -Christine

Jason said...

This is a funny humor blog that you have here. I have one myself and I would like to exchange links with you. Let me know what you think.

Sincerely,
Jason

Julie @ The Mom Slant said...

Ohhhhhh...(sniff)

That was wonderful.

Tuesday Girl said...

what is it about babies who walk for the first time that is so amazing. I continue to be amazed.

Daisy said...

Those first steps are so amazing. That she tried it in such a crowd is incredible!

Suburb Sierra said...

I'm a blubbering idiot right now - it's like it was yesterday with mine but yet it was many years ago.

So sweet.

sweet cheek's mom said...

very descriptive and emotional detail! great post.

Jen (jenbshaw) said...

Don't you know that I don't come here to cry? Kidding. This was a fantastic post, definitely going in my faves.