One of the most significant milestones in a baby’s young life is the day she takes her first steps. There is a place for that date in every baby book. The most common question people ask me upon meeting Sweet Pea, right after “How old is she?” is “Is she walking yet?” or “When did she take her first steps?” Yet I do not have a date to fill in on that “first steps” blank. How can I say when her definitive first steps were? Was it the day she first stumbled accidentally into my arms from a step away? Was it the day she first stood on her own, realized she was standing on her own, and continued standing? Was it the day she wobbled four steps to her Grandma Sharon? Was it the day her Baba (Eric) first saw her step, step, step, stumble? Was is the day she walked several times back and forth between her Nana and Grandpa? Let me just say to Sweet Pea, when you look back at your baby book many years from now, I chose an approximate date at random for your “first steps” milestone.
But to answer the question about walking, I have to mark that date in history as officially Monday, November 8, 2010; even though she had walked many times before, even some paces on her own free will and in her own chosen direction. But Monday was the day that she surprised me by suddenly appearing in the doorway of our office, when I had left her in the living room just two minutes earlier. It was the day that she walked across the living room to pick up a toy she had her eye on. It was the day she walked over the wood floor to follow the cat through the kitchen. Yes, November 8th was definitely her first true day of walking. Now we have our own little Frankenstein moving around the house, through the yard, down the street – arms outstretched for balance, with a cautious yet confident grin on her face.
Since revealing this news, I have received many messages of congratulations and warnings – other parents saying things such as “Now the fun begins!”, “You’re in trouble now!”, “Now you’ll find out how baby proof your house really is!”, and “Look out!”. I must say that I am warily excited for this next phase in Sweet Pea’s growth and development. She already is growing and learning and changing so much that I can hardly believe she is the same little baby who was given to us only two and a half months ago.
So, Sweet Pea, forgive me for not being more diligent with noting every “first” moment. I regret missing so many firsts during your first year of life when others were lucky enough to witness the first times you opened your eyes, smiled, rolled over, sat up, and crawled. But I will be here with you to not only bear witness to the rest of your "firsts," but to cheer you on, to pick you up when you fall, and to proudly blog about them for posterity. I would argue, as probably most other parents would too, that the date is not as important as the milestone itself. So, if I must fill in the blank, let’s just say September 26, 2010, was the day you took your first steps and call it good.