Simple Pleasures

So, our girl started taking small steps this past weekend. It seems just weeks ago that I cradled her, nestled her, in my tired, protective, grateful arms. She couldn’t even hold her head up then.

Now, she hobbles tentatively…one step, then two…then usually back down on her bum.

Last week, she also correctly identified four out of four pictures in her picture book by pointing to them when asked (Flowers, puppy, cat, bananas). I was amazed.

She jabbers with new “glibble glibble globble laddle leedle laddle” noises and carries on full baby conversations. Sometimes they occur in her carseat, while she gazes out the back hatch at the passing desertscape.

When I teasingly say “This little piggy…” she grabs her little toes and pulls them towards her, smiling.

She says “Buh…Buh” and waves for bye-bye now more frequently. And on our evening stroll tonight, as the sun prepared to set behind the dry mountains, she leaned forward in her stroller and belly-laughed at our yellow lab running like a puppy in front of her. Then, she pointed to flowers along the way and I paused for her to feel the strong leaves of the aloe and the soft leaves of the hibiscus.

We depart for the Midwest to visit our family on Thursday night. I cannot wait for her to crawl, and perhaps begin to walk, in the homes of my childhood. The homes of my memories, fresh and young and always filled rays of sun through the windows.

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2 thoughts on “Simple Pleasures

  1. Rudolf Steiner talks alot about a child’s first steps. As a child begins walking, they feel their own will emerge. And, as sad as it is for us, they truly do begin their walk away from us and into their own lives. You are all celebrating a delicious milestone. I’m so glad you are noticing every little moment of it.

    For me, Satchel’s first steps were fun and delightful. And then….oh my. His will came on. And I mean, IT CAME ON. Satchel was, I must say, a dream baby. He was active, yes, but always happy. He hardly ever cried, never had a moment of colic, was easy with strangers, laughed alot, etc…Then he walked. His disposition was still sweet and open and trusting but his will forces were so strong.

    It threw me, really threw me. He was non-stop motion and non-stop exploration. I had a hard time keeping up! And it was only with the walking that his separateness emerged. He developed opinion and entitlement and all sorts of strong self-oriented emotions.

    I wish I had been more prepared for this. That I could have embraced it more and been less shocked by the intensity of who he became. I think if I had been prepared, I would have enjoyed it more. But I loved the sweetness of my lap baby (albeit a lap baby who never stopped jumping or reaching or grabbing!) and never expected such a drastic, immediate shift would occur. But my lap baby was long gone, racing into the world. And I was simply his gatekeeper, forever chasing after to ensure his well-being.

    It was during this time that I started to appreciate our nursing relationship. Thank god for nursing! This kept our heart-connection strong. Nursing a toddler is truly a gift because they always come home from their wild travels. With the wild ones, like Satchel was, this is really important.

    Do know though, that this insatiable wandering switches again. And as the language really comes in, they are reachable again. Your sweet child is reachable again. They need you to define their world with words. They need you to describe their emotions and the sunsets they see and the leaves they touch. So they come back.

    Maybe girls are slightly different during this walking process. You may never have the experiences I did. I don’t really know. In my youthful, staunch feminist days, I would have said that gender differences are programmed. That boys and girls could both be wildly energetic and skillfully interconnected. Now, as a mother – still feminist but more mellow in my attitudes, more curious than definitive in my opinions – I wonder if boys are truly different than girls. If one gender inherits slightly more of one style than the other. My friends who have both say yes. But I have yet to find out myself.

    Anyway, this is just a long ramble reliving those days of first steps. And after first steps; when the person I recognize as my son truly began to emerge. It’s almost as if at birth, and in the first year, we yet our child’s essence. And then, in year two we get our child’s personality. Who knows. It’s just one mother’s random, idle thoughts that she wanted to share.

    Blessings to you all and happy travels.
    Brooke

  2. Watch your baby during these first steps…as her hands grasp into fists, arms stretched high above her head. She is still so close to the spiritual world…in this gesture, she is holding onto heaven! Look deep into her eyes and feel her soul as she finds her uprightedness. This is a miraculous event! With love, Marianne

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