He was sitting with his grandpa, which is where you’ll usually find him if he’s in the room. My mom sat next to them, and the kids were all at their feet. His grandpa put him down on the floor, chubby baby fingers wrapped around his one single finger.
And then he let go.
At first he just stood there, the internal debate playing in his features, but then… he stepped. And stepped again. And then again.
And my heart swelled, and the room erupted into cheers and applause, and the smile that broke out across his face was that of pure, unbridled joy.
Such a simple thing, these three steps, but I was bursting with pride. My boy! My baby boy! He took his first steps.
Over and over he’d step-step-step, sometimes accidentally falling on his well-cushioned behind, and sometimes, hesitating, he’d slowly lower himself to the ground.
But he kept getting back up.
Every attempt was rewarded with our cheering and applause. And when he sat in the middle of the floor, unaided by any brothers, sister, grandparent, or parent, and stood in the middle of the floor all on his own, he got into the spirit of celebration, bent ever so slightly at the knee, bouncing up and down with squeals of satisfaction.
Sure these first steps are a delightful rite of passage afforded most of us, but as I watched him, beaming as he charmed the room with his victory dance, I felt so incredibly, blessedly, unabashedly lucky. So lucky that I felt like I could fly around the room dripping confetti and glitter all over the place.
It’s almost been a year since I woke up in the ICU with a tube in my throat, a sizable scar on my belly and baby Ben sleeping in an isolette away. Yes, definitely lucky!
We’ve come so far, baby.