First steps are an amazing thing to watch.

Today, Bronwen was leaning on a box of Owen’s legos. She was sorta standing by herself and giving little bounces. I clapped with her. She smiled. And then she stood by herself. Something in her eyes told me that she was ready.

For the last couple months she’s been holding hands and walking. She’s stood a couple times by herself, but not for very long and she freaked out when she realized she was on her own. When I say ‘freaked out’ I mean yelling, shaking, ‘how could you betray me by letting me go!?’ kinda fits. Red in the face. Pissed off.

But this morning she was happy and smiling. The cutest of cute times for any kid. She just leaned on the box and then stood up.

I asked her, flat out, “You wanna try?” And I walked over to her and sat down with my arms open and said, “Come on, come here.”

Here’s the part that gets me: she knew what I was asking her to do, and she did it. With all that earlier freaking out and panicking, she went for it. Three steps on her first try. (Before I grabbed her in paroxysms of joy and ruined all forward progress.) Then she did it again. Soon she’ll be doing it all the time.

But it’s not the walking that hits me, it’s seeing that she knows she can do it and she’s willing to try. It’s such an odd expression, one that only shows up at certain times in a child’s life (first words, first steps, first bike, first successful creative endeavor–“Look at my picture!”). Like the knowledge has been there the whole time and was only just uncovered.

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