Here you'll find current musings, as well as the archives from two blogs of yesteryear: YoungMarriedMom and What I Learned While Writing a Novel. Please comment and share. We love well when we are in conversation with one another.
A monumental event took place in our lives this weekend: Jacob took his first steps. He did it a couple of times, each time really just trying to get from one handhold to another. I think of these steps the way Woody thinks of Buzz Lightyear’s flying, that is, as “falling with style.”
Still, whether he likes it or not, the little man is capable of walking on his own. We’ve been able to see for a week or two that he’s strong and steady enough. He just hasn’t decided that walking is a good or necessary thing. Or has he?
If you can handle another Toy Story reference today (and why not, really?), sometimes I wonder if Jacob has had some of his “firsts” without us watching. The first time he came to sit on his own was in his crib, as was the first time he pulled himself up to stand. Who’s to say that he hadn’t done these things before, and then just lain down again before we came in?
All this begs the question, if a baby takes his first steps, but his parents don’t see them, do they count?
In Jacob’s case, I could kind of see him, but there was an armchair between us. John was in another room, and Jacob’s aunt got the front-and-center seat. The joy that burst on her face convinces me that he really did walk, and it really did count—even if I told her otherwise. Yet these steps didn’t really strike me as intentional.
We’ve had a similar situation with Jacob’s first word. If you count screaming “Maaaaa! Maaaaaa!” in the midst of crying for food in the middle of the night, then Jacob’s first word was “mama.” If you don’t, then his first word was “da” for Dad . . . or, later, dog (sorry, John). With words, especially, there’s a sort of time lapse for translation, and we’re just not sure if these count or not.
Turns out, a lot of baby “firsts” happen rather gradually. A mommy friend and I were talking about the same thing regarding her son’s smile. Yes, he smiled at about two months, but it’s not like he had a totally straight face and then burst into a giant smilefest.
Growth happens a little bit at a time, and while we can try to record these milestones, the point isn’t really when they happen, but that they happen and that—at some point—we experience them with our children. That as parents, we get the great blessing of watching our kids turn into the people they will be—smiles, words, and steps in all.