That’s one small step for a baby…

Today is Alex’s and my third anniversary. Three years ago, I had no idea that I would one day be living in a different country, with a beautiful daughter, experiencing a totally different way of life. That is one of the great things of life — nothing is scripted. You get to discover all that is new every moment of every day.

Or at least witness it. Which I did. My child’s first unassisted steps.

Alex has seen these before, in a couple of cases around the apartment. But tonight, as is becoming a habit after dinner, we went for a walk around the “lago” (Spanish for “lake”, but it’s little more than a pond) in our complex. Mi Pequeña Niña let go of my forefinger — her favourite thing to hang onto for balance as she walks — and for a few short steps walked unassisted to her mother’s waiting arms.

It wasn’t far. But all first steps are measured in “not falling down”, not distance.

She did it again later back in the apartment, walking 4-5 somewhat unsteady steps between Alex and the black sofa bed (currently in sofa mode) in MPN’s room.

It’s the beginning. In order for MPN to move forward in life, she needs to let go of us. There’s a certain amount of sadness in this, as we must start to fade into the background. It will take years — decades, even — for this to truly take effect. But it’s the start. MPN doesn’t even know we’re doing that yet. All she knows is that she can move from our arms to something she wants. And that’s a start.

It’s a great anniversary present, really. It’s “leather” this year, and neither of us are in a rush to go out and purchase animal hides for each other. Seeing our daughter walk? That’s pretty rewarding. We celebrated with wine and 50 First Dates, one of the first movies we’d seen when we were dating. It seems so long ago now.

In the coming weeks, Mi Pequeña Niña will be walking further and further on her own. She’ll hold our hands not for support, but because she wants to. She’ll walk away from us, walk towards/into things she shouldn’t. Then she’ll be running. And falling, too — that’s all part of movement. Part of life.

It’s a good third anniversary. Thank you, my daughter — you made it a great one.

5 Replies to “That’s one small step for a baby…”

  1. That was really touching and insightful. As the mother of a four year old who only holds my hand to “protect” me 🙂 and is soon to be going into school, I find this very poignant. Thanks.

  2. I agree with Ginger, Geoff. That is very touching and insightful.

    I liked the part “All she knows is that she can move from our arms to something she wants.” which is exactly what you’ll be teaching her for the rest of her life. She will be moving toward the things that she wants in life… whether they are good or bad for her. Mind you, with parents like you and Alex any bad decisions will surely be few and far between and she’ll have the skills to take something positive from those experiences anyway.

    Geez Geoff, with the way you write about your wee one, I almost feel compelled to have one myself. I said almost. 🙂

    Happy Anniversary to both of you, by the way. Only 17 days away for me!

  3. You want one, Terri. Trust me on this. You’d be a great mother. Awesome. You’d love every minute of it. Only 17 days until the big W, eh? Panicking yet? And you have to go a year before you can have an anniversary. 😉

    There’s a part of me that wants to be where you are, Ginger, having a child that knows what he/she wants and is able to express it. But I’m finding it hard to let go of my little baby girl.

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