Only yesterday did Sophie really start standing on her own, without holding on to anything, for any significant period of time. And today, after lunch and before her nap, she took two small and wobbly sideways steps. Like many firsts, I wasn’t sure if they counted. Just like her first words—”da da,” “dog,” “ma ma,” and “no”—the steps weren’t quite clear. I wasn’t even sure if what I thought had happened, happened. Still, I called Andy. He wisely told me to get the video camera. I did and watched as my baby, my baby!, took five amazing steps toward me.
First steps are so significant. They require such courage. Today, she had to be brave, knowing she might fail, that it might not work out in the way she hoped it would—that, upon taking that first step, she might fall. But she didn’t fall. She stepped and stepped and stepped and I hope, somehow, someway, those first steps remain with her, always—walking excitedly to school on her first day, walking nervously to home plate for her first at bat, walking hand-in-hand with someone she’s hopelessly in love with, walking lost around a campus, walking confident into her first job interview, walking slowly down an aisle and maybe, maybe, walking hand-in-hand with her child someday. And she might fail. She might fall. But I hope she has the courage to try. And I hope she has the tenacity to get up and try again when she does fail, when she does fall. And I hope she knows that no matter where I am I’ll be cheering her on—if not in person, then in spirit.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” —Lao-tzu