Life, as we know it, will never be the same. My baby started walking. I knew it would eventually happen but I was hoping that she’d hold out for a little while longer. She’s growing and I don’t think I’m ready.
I wasn’t there to see my older girls take their first steps. At the time, I was torn between excitement and guilt. They’d reached a milestone but I wasn’t around to experience it. They each started walking during the middle of the day, when I was at work. I know it wasn’t deliberate, but in my brain it was their way of saying “mom, you should have been home with us. Exciting things happen when you’re at the office.” I always got a video and I was grateful, but it wasn’t the same as being there. I’ve gotten over it, but a hint of that feeling still remains.
All of my girls walked late. Marley started at 16 months. She crawled backwards for a long time. As smart as she was, at one and a half, she couldn’t seem to grasp the concept of crawling forward. She’d get stuck underneath a piece of furniture and not know how to get out. When I’d heard that other children her age were walking before their first birthdays, I immediately asked the doctor if she was ok.
“Maybe her legs don’t work.”
“I shouldn’t have allowed her to stand up so much. It was too soon. I’ve ruined her.”
“We need to schedule an MRI. What tests can we take to make sure she’ll be able to walk?”
“When can I pick up the leg braces?”
She was my first and I panicked. Then one day, in my sister in-laws backyard, she took her first Frankenstein steps. I pushed the anxiety aside and breathed a sigh of relief.
Maya walked at 14 months. I don’t remember exactly when, but I’m sure I have a video somewhere. I’m going to chalk that up to middle child syndrome. She was trying to keep up with her big sis and surpassed her by two months.
With Mac, I didn’t want to rush it. I envisioned the next year of our lives. We’d end up spending most of our time hunched over which would result in months and months of back pain. I’d constantly be running/tripping behind her as she pulled things off of areas that she couldn’t reach days before. When people would ask “is she was walking yet?”, I’d say “no, and I’m totally cool with that. She can crawl and stand so I know her legs work.” Aside from the fact that she’d want to explore everything, including the stairs, the reality was that she’d be moving from the baby phase to the toddler phase. Because she was more mobile, she’d want to be independent instead of being held or carried. In no time, she’d be in college and I’d have an empty house. A little dramatic, yes, but it’ll be here before I know it.
My baby is no longer the 7.5 pounder that I used to snuggle with and sniff (I know I’m not the only person who can’t resist that new baby smell). She’s going to continue to achieve many milestones over the next few years. I’ll probably cry along the way, but will hopefully get over it quickly. If not, I guess I’ll need to have another one so that I can start over ;)