May 18, 2024

Taking First Steps

Fall down 7 times; get up 8– Eastern saying

We visited for the celebration of Reese’s first birthday — complete with anticipation of “what’s next for this little one”. Her parents suspected she might take her first steps. She was standing, squatting and jumping with support. As she pushed her walker across the floor, it was apparent she wanted to move on those little feet and follow her sister.

While playing with her, she continued to jump and stand and push, yet no showed direct interest in walking. Grandparenting brings inalienable rights for teaching, praising and spoiling, plus trying to get that “next thing” to happen while we’re visiting. While one held her up and the other had outstretched hands to catch, she just bent her knees, having none of it at that time. Yet, other times, she had a spontaneous movement that seemed an effort to take a step. One effort took her across a musical toy that ended in a fall. Even then it was with continued encouragement, as we cheered, she clapped and smiled.  We continued encouragement yet honored her schedule — if you want to try “great”; if not, “oh well”.

Then Reese did it! On Sunday there it was: Movement from one of us to the other: tiny foot taking step 1, followed by tiny foot taking step 2. — A little lunge and an adult catch.  Reese had the smile on her lips and the light in her eyes, the acknowledgement she had done something new, something she liked. It was precious. To make it official, her parents saw it, too. For us, as grandparents, it was priceless.   

“Hey Reese, we said, want to walk again” as we held her for another try. She greeted us with bent knees and essentially, “I am done; I am doing this at my pace” and off she crawled to her next adventure.

Often, it seems the first step in doing something new is the hardest. We may lose our balance, perhaps fall. Some say the secret of learning to walk is falling, followed by “Oh well”, get up and try again…at our own pace….like Reese.

You go little girl. 

Bill (aka grandpa)