Yesterday T started walking exclusively. Walking has come slow to him. He’s been taking steps for almost two months, but he's been pretty tentative and he clearly preferred crawling. He was quite the speed crawler, it worked for him, he just didn’t care to concentrate on the walking no matter how much I encouraged him. Over the last few weeks he’s been walking more and more, taking 7 or 8 steps frequently, rather than 2 or 3 steps a few times a day. But yesterday afternoon he suddenly decided crawling was no longer for him, end of story, he’s a walker.
My sister and her family began the post holiday exodus from my parent’s home in Georgia yesterday morning and drove back to Charlotte. In the afternoon my father got on a plane for Barcelona, and early this morning Z left for Syracuse. Mom and I got on the road to Charlotte later in the morning because my flight is out of here on Wednesday. When we arrived my sister greeted us at the door and although she had seen him the day before she was astounded by T’s walking.
The funny thing was even though we were barely 24 hours into his newfound skill and I was very blasé about the whole thing. I’d simply gotten used to it. In fact, the idea of him only crawling seemed foreign. That is how this parenting thing goes. The changes are fast and furious and we adapt to what is suddenly normal with lightning speed.
The thing is I have been dying for him to walk. The average for walking is 13 months, my guy is over 15. His cousin is six weeks younger, yet he has been walking since just before his first birthday back in September. My sister and I have worked really hard not to make our boy’s developmental milestones into a competition, and I think we have been successful. I’m honestly not jealous or resentful that Gabe has been exclusively walking; I just wanted T to join him. And now he has, and of course, it rocks.
So I’m thrilled he is walking. Yet that joy is not perfect, it is marred by a touch of melancholy. And this time I don’t think the emotion has anything to do with my crazy. I suspect that all mothers, all parents really, feel it when their child makes a great developmental leap. I'm cringing as I write it, but it's true, everything does go so damn fast when you are a parent. My sweet baby really isn’t a baby anymore. His face is losing that wonderful chub and roundness, he has 17 teeth for Christ’s sake, he’s even started growing a bit of hair at long last. I am delighted by my toddler and I wouldn’t want him any other way, but I miss my baby. And next year when he is doing all sorts of fabulous things I’ll be excited, but I’m sure I’ll miss so much about who he is right now.
Last night Z and I were looking at old videos of T and I came across this one.
Watching it again has only added to my sense of melancholy, yet I've been playing it over and over. I know it's dull and annoying when parents say how cute their kid is, but I can't help it. He is fucking adorable. I can't believe I got to hold him and love him back in April when he was that tiny little person. I still can't believe I get to hold him and love him now, not to get all mushy but he makes my life better every day. But I can't help mourn the loss of his babyhood as I celebrate and revel in his toddlerhood.
And here is my sweet boy two days ago. Still fucking adorable, if I do say so myself.