Monday, January 2, 2012


In a few short days, Jack will have completed one trip around the sun.  In the days leading up to his first birthday I find myself reflecting on who he was and who I was a year ago.  It's hard to say who has changed more.  The tiny little bird we brought home from the hospital has been replaced by a little boy and I don't know when that happened.  For a year now, I have caught glimpses of him curled up in his crib or breathing deeply while he nursed and consciously thought to myself, "He's still a baby.  Look at how his tiny legs still curl up and how the sound of his voice still sounds new; how I still have to feed him from a spoon and how he can still fit on Trevor's chest when they nap together.  Don't worry, he's still a baby, time hasn't moved by too quickly."

Tonight, as I was doing what all mothers do one week before their child's first birthday- furiously playing catch up on his baby book that has been collecting dust- I saw a photo that I took today of my little baby and what caught my eye were his feet.  This weekend, Trevor and I came to the startling realization that he's walking more than he's crawling.  When I saw this picture, tears sprung up in my eyes as I saw those two little feet planted firmly on the ground.  For 9 months Jack was connected to the earth through me and now those little feet have made their own connection.  I remember during the summer planting his feet in the grass or in the lake or in the sand. I remember cradling his brand new feet in my hands right after he was born, their sweet soft puckered skin a reminder of how, mere hours before, we shared one space in the world.  I remember smiling at his tiny helpless feet that dangled out from under a nightgown while he ate.  Now, when I hold him, his legs wrap around me and I know that his feet, once as soft as satin, will slowly grow rougher as he finds his footing and his stride.

My baby is walking.  His arms wave in the air as he finds his balance.  Sometimes he'll stop in the middle of his stroll and clap his hands.  He is his own cheerleader.  And then, like a tightrope walker with no sense of danger, he marches ahead.  He prefers to walk toward someone because the reward is a huge embrace and an endless supply of affirming and loving words of encouragement.  I think of the weeks and weeks of him having to crawl everywhere while those legs lay dormant waiting for the signal from the brain to spring into action.  His satiny knees have grown rougher, one of the first signs of him interacting with the world around him.  But now he is walking, his knees are getting a break and he is reaping the rewards for all of that hard work.  He is positively delighted with himself for this new discovery.


Such a silly little thing to make a person cry.  But if I look at that picture a little closer, I see little dimples where his knuckles should be.  I see soft curly hair that has never been cut.  I see the steady arm of his father supporting him. For now, he is most assuredly still my baby- he always will be, and I think that I will always see that little face and those little feet no matter how old he or I get.

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