Why, oh why, must babies grow up? My firstborn just keeps getting bigger as babies are wont to do. The other day I was watching her feeling like I must be the proudest parent on earth. She walked over my way then fell flat on her behind. She gave a half laugh noise then stood back up and went on her merry way. I realised a few things that day.
- Things in life take practice. We aren’t pros the first time we try something and we shouldn’t expect perfection from ourselves. Practice makes perfect, they say, and it was weeks from that first step until she walked proudly around the house like a big girl. Progress is often in a spiral. You go away from and towards the goal until you finally reach it. One day she walked 16 steps. She didn’t do that again for a week or two. We can lighten up out there, people.
- We just have to decide we want it. She had the skills to walk and the shoes to wear. She just had to decide she was going to go for it. One day she woke up and went from a crawl/walk mix to solely walking. That was the day for it. There are things in life we mull over. Should I do this, go there, apply for the job, etc. Sometimes we just need to wake up and say enough already. Today is the flippin’ day.
- When we fall down we should just get back up and get on with it. She walks a ways, gets distracted by a bird or a book and falls down. Does she cry? No. Does she sit there and mull over the cause of her fall until she has solved world peace as it relates to her failure? No. She just stands up and gets on with it. Can we fail occasionally and just turn around and get right back up? Get back on the horse, they say. Kids know that lesson instinctively. At what age do we unlearn it?
- Learning and respecting our own boundaries takes time. Now that she walks she doesn’t like to be in the stroller for too long. I let her out in a lobby recently to get some exercise and realised she does not know boundaries in a new place. She is still learning to understand she is safer in certain places in close proximity to her mommy. Then she’ll realize she can’t go somewhere and get ticked off about it. She doesn’t understand a road is dangerous, but it’s something she is learning. Isn’t it a learning process for us to find our own boundaries? Can you say no? Can you respect someone else’s no? Do we give ourselves and others time and space and freedom? Do we maintain boundaries for our own emotional and mental well being? If not, we should start. And that’ll probably involve some mishaps along the way.