Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm gonna need new shoes

Running shoes. Because ladies and gentleman...we have a walker!!

Ok-maybe "walker" is a bit of a stretch, but nonetheless yesterday my little boy took his first steps. Unassisted.

And the event sent me on an emotional roller coaster that I was not prepared for.

Of course I was beaming with pride and shouted it from the rooftops. Once the Hubs came home and we could catch it on video I sent it to everyone I knew. Via text and Facebook post. In fact it took all the self restraint I had today not to post it here. Because instead I'd like to share with you all the actual moment.
The one not caught on video. The one that made my eyes swell up with tears of joy and even a twinge of sadness.

It caught me off guard. We were playing with toys on the floor when Jack crawled over to the stairs. We have yet to get a gate for the stairs going up to our bedroom, but he generally stays away from them unless Kev or I are upstairs and he wants to get to us. As crawled over I told him "No" and was perched to grab him if he started climbing.
But he didn't.
He pulled himself up and turned himself around. Once he steadied himself he looked up at me. And then he did it. He started walking towards me. 3 good steady steps. And then he realized what he was doing, got excited and lost his balance in my arms. As he lurched at me in those final steps he was grinning from ear to ear as if to say, "Look what I just did !!"
And as I caught him, wrapped my arms around him, and laughed and cheered for him, I found tears rolling down my cheeks. Warm, salty, bittersweet tears.
Even though I cried tears of joy at that moment it wasn't until I put Jack down for his afternoon nap that the real emotion of the moment hit me. That even though this moment was a joyous, exciting moment in my little boys life, I couldn't help but feel a little melancholy. Because these tiny little steps were a symbol of so much more. Like Independence. And growth.  Don't get me wrong...I want all these things for my son. I want him to grow into a strong, independent man and make a wonderful life for himself but I can't help but feel a little sadness because time is passing so quickly. And before I even know it his strong little legs are going to be taking him places. Farther and farther away from me.

First Steps

These are the tiny feet, that carried you that day.
First steps free from my hands, I watched my baby step away.
During the coming years, I'll guide these little feet,
As they toddle 'cross the lawn, and safely cross the street.
They'll soon grow strong and steady, find puddles to kick and splash,
Pedal a two-wheel bike, and win a schoolyard dash.
Kick a ball, learn to dance, race a friend home from school.
Skip a rope, jump in bed, dive feet-first at the pool.
Your small feet may often stumble, scrap a knee, or take a fall.
Misstep or need direction, or a model to stand tall.
Know I'll always be behind you, my love will give you wings.
To proudly fill the shoes, a grownup life will bring.
The years will quickly pass, and these feet will learn to drive.
Walk the stage to a diploma, as graduation day arrives.
I'll watch through misty eyes, as you walk down wedding's aisle,
A family of your own, you'll start your journey with a smile.
These tiny prints will hold my heart, for each tomorrow you will grow.
Today I'll hold you closer, for too soon these feet will go.

~Teri Harrison.

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