Luella’s picked up a funny little habit of “counting down” before attempting something brave. It comes from pushing her on the swings. We’ll pull her back really high and then count “One… two… THREE!” before letting her go. Her version goes “Dee… dee… DEE!”
Recently at the playground I’ve watched friends with younger babies walk past us, hand in hand while Lu was content crawling over to the slide. Any of my attempts to lead her away from the see-saw she was edging around were met with a defiant screech.
Luella would walk by herself when she was ready, and not a minute sooner.
So last Wednesday after an afternoon of playing at the park with a “big girl” friend from playgroup we’d just come home and I was straightening up the living room. I saw Luella starting to stand up on her own as she’d been doing recently. But this time she had a purpose. Determination. She was concentrating harder than ever to hold her balance and once she was upright, she counted down…
And she took those first few steps straight into my arms, where she landed with the most satisfied smile.
When Jim arrived home a few minutes later (really wishing he had come straight home from work instead of picking up toilet paper), she showed off her newfound skill straightaway, ending again with a huge cuddle, this time into Daddy’s arms.
Not gonna lie, I teared up a bit. It’s silly, I know. Nearly all kids learn to walk eventually, so what’s the big deal?
I guess it was more than just the steps, but the pride in her face. She knew that she was doing something new, and not only that, but doing it all by herself! It was a reminder to me to trust that she will do things in her own time. A reminder not to push her, to let her grow and develop at her own pace and to trust her.
And to be there to catch her when she’s ready to take off!
(Click photo to watch video)