by Aarti Kapur Singh
A mother recalls her baby’s first steps. A perfect and compelling winter read coming straight from one mom’s heart!
When bringing up a baby (and growing up as a parent), every first is a milestone. The softball of life that you gingerly hold in your hands, the soft and tiny fingers that curl up around one of your own, the smiles – every time your baby does something for the first time, he marks an achievement in your life.
Baby’s first steps are often the most-anticipated and exciting milestone, but it is important to remember that every baby takes his or her own time to do it. Pushing them, or yourselves, to hurry up is not a good idea. In fact, there are phases to it – like when he will first pull himself up, then stand with support, toddle a bit, walk with a push-along toy, be brave enough to stand alone and then make the dash for life. Every tiny step is a momentous occasion.
I still remember my butt-scooting, fast-crawling son pulled himself up for the first time by himself just nine days short of his first birthday. I could feel my heart pumping out loud and was torn between fetching the camera and savoring the moment by just standing there, should he need my help. But the decision was taken by him when he just plonked down again.
A week later, he was walking around with a push-along toy – a lion that roared when tapped on its nose. My baby was encouraged to take those three steps from the rear of the lion to his face to box the poor lion’s nose! At this time, he was still holding on to the toy for support.
At first, he was just toddling, but once he decided he wanted to reach out for things, there was no stopping and the progress was super fast. He walked on his own less than one month after he stood up by himself!
I remember that day rather vividly. Even though I have mixed feelings about not having had the chance to record it for posterity. I was working in the kitchen while he was about 14 feet away – on his play mat along with his toys. I was watching him every now and then. Just to let him know mom was around, I called out his name once. He literally stood up, looked around to make sure I was watching and then strutted the distance that was the lobby area to the kitchen – as if he’d been walking forever. I dashed to meet him mid-way in the warmest hug I have ever got from him. The look on his face was priceless: pure pride and excitement. It was an indescribable feeling of elation.
I knew our lives had taken a leap to the next stage with his podgy feet that tottered towards me. He was forever excited to discover everything he could ‘go’ to. What could he not get his hands onto or into!?
That 14-feet race is something that has changed into several thereafter. For since that day, my son grew wings on his feet. And so did I.
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