A Step

June 15, 2010

I was talking with a friend about his three adult-age  kids: One child soars and glides; one shuffles and stumbles, yet resists a hand to hold; and one got lost in a maze, but is trying a new route.

I thought about my own kids and their individual ways of moving in the world: One sprints and runs out of breath; another meanders and skips; another power walks while juggling; and another trips and falls face first, but eventually gets up at tries again.

Thinking about this movement, the energy that propels our children forward into the world, I’m reminded of their first steps. How they let go and moved into the wide open. One step, followed by another, and maybe one more before they fell on their padded bottoms.

I think about those first steps and realize that our parental joy wasn’t about the speed or the glory, or the distance covered, or the Christmas-letter-worthy accomplishments. It was about watching our children move forward, solo into the void. I think it still is.

A nice thing… our children’s forward movement, no matter how circuitous or incremental.

6 Responses to “A Step”

  1. With you. I finally figured out that if I just concentrated on loving my son and understanding what _he_ wanted, our relationship got better.

  2. this hit home, in many ways. I often find myself echoing Ken, which is ok by me.

  3. Annie said

    The boys have it right. I love the translation between big kid steps and baby steps … what you’re saying and what you’re not saying. All of it brings a huge smile to my face. xo

  4. iamsurly said

    I’m usually the one tripping the child, FYI.

  5. Laura said

    And we always have our fingers crossed that they’re going forward, not backward. Or sideways!

  6. Dale said

    Parenting–the job you work yourself out of. But never really retire from.

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