Photo courtesy of Lauren
She toddles. Almost fifteen months from the day she first set foot on Earth, she began making her own treads. I know she's no trailblazer, but the implications in her own small sphere are enormous. My daughter is making her way in the world.
Her gait is precarious. Each step seems too light to hold her, but the halting weight of one foot against the ground, then the other, pushes her forward in a baby gust. I stop counting the movements; it seems as if she will go on forever. Then her confidence falls out from under her as she folds to a neat stop on her knees.
This is how she will get where she's going. It's literal now, but soon enough the baby steps will mean something different. It's careful exploration. It's tentativeness. It's the way one feels out a world where solidity, texture and layout is uncertain. Her first day of school. A part in a play. A sleepover. A test. This is how she will learn, by pushing herself on her own terms.
I am proud of her pacing. I thought early on that I wanted her to be the first at everything. I wanted her to be precocious. A fat, walking, talking bundle of joy. And don't get me wrong--she's joyful. But she's also small and comtemplative; calm and observant. I am so enamored by her unexpected personality that any desire I had for her to be something other than she is vanished in the gray fog of so many pre-parental ideals.
Now I know that her whims are her own. Her timing is impeccable. She is exactly right.