Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Without Us

Grace was a late walker. She's always been a cautious child, which is truly a blessing and a curse. You can imagine.

So she was a late walker. She was a happy, contented baby, thrilled to chill on the floor, where it's safe. So we helped her figure out the whole 2-legged thing, assuring her with every little baby step, that life was better off the floor.

One day, she just did it. She threw caution to the wind, got up, and walked. Ran even. She was over 19 months old, when she got the revelation. But from day 1, she was off, and running.

While we were patiently waiting for her to take the vertical plunge, we learned all kinds of ways to help her learn to walk. How to hold her to steady her- by holding her forearms, not by grasping hands- so she can use the best posture, not keeping her arms in the air, but keeping them down where they'll be when she's flying solo, one day.

We learned to slowly weaken our grip on those chubby arms, as she gained confidence, so that gradually, she'd just one day not need us at all. And then, for a while, as she walked on her own, we knew to stay near, in case of a fall- to catch her if she needed it, but to also let her feel the sensation of falling, to know what caused it, and how to correct it later.

And one day she got it. And she was ready to run. And the occasional fall was well worth the thrill of the chase.

And as I held my first baby's arms, teaching her all these things, I knew quietly in my heart that this was the whole of parenthood.

To support, guide, teach, and believe in her with love and patience every day, slowly easing our own grasp as she grows. To never hold on too tight- handicapping her- making her journey much harder to conquer.

To keep daily before our eyes the goal that one day, she'll walk, run, and dance confidently, without us.


Mandy said...


AnnieW said...

That was beautiful and what a great picture of parenthood. Grace is a BEAUTIFUL girl.

Rachel said...

I just want to say that you have beautiful children. And your pictures are always amazing...there is just something simple and lovely about them.