Baby Steps

Its been a week of baby steps

On my sister’s facebook entry this morning was a quick entry mentioning that little Alysondra (my niece) is getting braver.   Nearing her first birthday, She’s been flirting with the idea of walking for a few weeks now. Small brief periods of forgotten fear as she ventures out  to take an unsecured step here and there.  I’m hard pressed to think of a joy more appealing than seeing a child find their confidence and take their first steps.  Of course that elation is quickly displaced by worry as  their new independence changes the whole game, immersing us in a plethora of new adventure. Now it becomes far more difficult to be their protective shield. Then it only gets more and more difficult with each new ability they add to their repertoire.

On Thursday we had our very first Thanksgiving at our house, and it ended up including nearly all of our local family (minus niece Bekah & nephew David who we missed, but they were spending the day with their Mother).   It still ended up being pretty nice and calm, one of the better ones for me I think.  The kids were able to spend time with both sets of grandparents.  In keeping with the theme of this post, I really hope that it proves to encourage some further “baby steps”  to occur, and inspire more tolerance and understanding within our family. Its always a delicate line between individuality and expectations.. but I think it can be done.

My niece is due to have her baby any day.  She’s having a little boy that she is naming Jackson.   This elevates the number of hats my sister-in-law wears, increasing it by one, thereby adding one more title in the process  – Grandma, or Gigi, or whatever they end up deciding.

I have yet to guess what that must be like. I’d imagine,  that once you get past the sillyness where people now taunt your age (which she has nothing to worry about there. In reality.. she’s a super young Grandma, not even 40 yet.)  you’d probably feel  joy, happiness, as well as fear and apprehension all rolled into the same event.

The child that you brought into the world now having their own.  Lots of  worrying over how your child is going to deal with the vast life change they are approaching.  Knowing full well there are things you don’t understand fully until your own baby is looking at you with those eyes.  Realizing that yet another layer of our inate desire to protect our (now adult) child has been stripped away by time, growth,  and independence, severing yet another apron string.

Letting go must feel clumsy and awkward, and induce some amount of fear.   Bitter-sweet I’m sure, and definitely hard for a Mother. I think I can definitely wait to have a child that is an adult, and I should very much appreciate my time with my kids right now, when it is still acceptable for me to be the Mama Bear.

It will be yet another doorway of opportunity,  immobilizing yet another plethora of further adventures, and one that will induce change in relationship, and growth on the parts of both Mother and child.

Isn’t it interesting that no matter what place we are in life, there continues to be further “Baby Steps” we all have to take.  We are never done learning or growing when we are open to it.  Our routes may all be quite different, but new phases come about regardless of our direction or  uncertainty to take the next step.

Take heart that little things, small changes, tiny adjustments – baby steps –  taken with care and determination, can pave the way, as well as inspire hope for the betterment of us all.