Tuesday, October 14, 2014

on babies walking

Asher is learning to walk. He took his first step a few weeks ago and then decided crawling was really much faster so he let it go for a while. On Friday he started stringing those steps together into real walking, right there on the hardwood floor of my mom's kitchen. Six grandkids and she finally gets to see one learn to walk. Toes curled, trying to grasp any inch of real estate he could find, he'd walk from me to Jim to me to Jim over and over. He would stumble unsteadily between us as we held our arms out wide and called his name and smiled our biggest, proudest smiles as he landed in our arms, got the required hug and multiple forehead kisses, and headed out again. Three siblings were there to shout and applaud and kiss and hug and generally treat Asher like the rockstar they think he is. Now he is in the stage where he practices walking, but if he really wants to get somewhere he drops down and crawls.

I am proud of his walking and so excited by his discovery and so amazingly overwhelmed by his healthy, strong body.

I am also the mama of a 10 year old, not to mention an 8 and 6 year old, so I know how this is going to go down. This mach-speed passage of time. This blink and ten years passes. This yearning to go back and this excitement at what's to come.

My mind is constantly flashing back to itty bitty squishy Asher learning to roll over. Sweet chunky monkey Asher doing plank, then rocking on all fours as he learned to crawl. Brave strong Asher cruising along the couch. Curious Asher grasping so very tightly to my fingers as he took a tentative step.

Now sometimes he lets go of my finger.

I hate that. And I love that.

Which doesn't make any sense until it makes perfect sense.

Like so many other moments in my life as a mama, I want time to freeze. I want to press stop and live forever in this time where I have a baby boy who delights in bathtub splashes and mama forehead kisses and peek-a-boo with siblings.

But I can't. And darnit if that doesn't just break my heart sometimes. So I do what mamas do. I hug him and whoop and celebrate his discoveries as he toddles to me with his arms stretched wide, ready for the fall, and a smile as bright as the sun and it's love. It's so much love.

I catch him when he falls. Then I help him back up so he can do it again. Even when I want to just hold him there.

When he drops down to crawl, I watch him intently, soaking it up, memorizing the wiggling bottom and quick arms, the way he holds one leg straight out, like a pointer dog, when he's looking for something.

All I can do is watch and wonder at what adventure he has planned for us next.

It's love. It's so much love. Sad, happy love. You know the kind.

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