Baby steps

One small step can change your life ~ Robert Maurer, from “The Kaizen Way”

My dearest E.,

You took your first few baby steps yesterday. You were unafraid, unabashed, confident and grinning from ear to ear. Of course, you could already walk before- but you always preferred to cling on to my hand, or a piece of household furniture. Sometimes, you would only stand in your crib or on some soft surface where the risk of injuring yourself due to a fall would be minimized (you’re so careful and smart that way!). Over the weekend, you enjoyed putting on your new Bubble Gummers shoes and taking them off, and begging me in your cooing way, to hold your hands so that you could walk around the house and try those new shoes out. They made squeaky noises as you walked, and you laughed with each step you took. You walk pretty damn fast for a baby, and I had to move quite quickly to keep up with you, too!

But yesterday, you made me and your father squeal loudly in delight. And begging for more! You stood on your own, holding a toy in one hand, examining your books on your little book shelf with your other hand. As I came down the stairs with a fresh change of clothes for you, you squealed loudly and started jumping on the spot- and most amazingly, you began to walk towards me. 7 solid baby steps. Your father and I leapt with glee and you continued to grin and laugh.

There is something about you, my sweet pea. When you set your mind to something, you get it done. I’m glad that you’ve learned to develop this very positive attitude. In life, we must always first take baby steps to achieve a larger goal. Life is a constant process of changing and learning-and with all that we do and seek to achieve in our lives, we take small baby steps, that will later shape us to take bigger steps towards achieving that particular goal.

As I watched you walking towards me, your arms outstretched, I see your future spread out before you. And the sun shining down on you-it’s oh-so-bright and merry. Highly confident and sure of yourself, you took those baby steps to reach me. They are small now, but they will grow bigger, just like you, too…and soon you will be able to walk about quickly, run like the wind on your chubby legs…

It’s funny, sweet pea. I’ve wanted to see you walk on your own for such a long time, and when I finally saw you walking yesterday, suddenly, I became selfish and wished otherwise. Your baby steps served to show me that you were growing into a young girl, determined and thoughtful: that you’d finally decided to walk for us, because you were finally sure about yourself. One day, you will walk away from your parents, walk down that aisle to be married to someone, to lead your own life and to have a little baby who will bring you as much joy as you have brought us.

I both look forward to and dread that day- but I also know that I cannot hinder your steps in life. That you must be allowed to grow to your full potential.

And I will always be here for you, holding your hand throughout, my heart open, my love for you on my sleeve, ready to pull you up if you ever fall down.