Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A moment to remember

I was sitting in the doorway to my bedroom, just inside the threshold where the carpet began and the hardwoods ended. My legs spread in a vee. Clara was standing between them holding onto my shirt, and I was, as usual, trying to convince her to let go. To attempt to balance herself for a few seconds. She understood what I wanted, but was being characteristically stubborn. Defiance sparkling in her pink face, as we went through our familiar routine. I removed one chubby hand from my shirt, and she giggled and grabbed hold with the other. All the while bubbling up belly-laughs. Incapable of resisting that delicious sound, I was giggling as well.

And then with a look that said clearly "Look. I could do it if I wanted to" she let go. She stood frozen in time for half a second, then took a step. And then half of another before she toppled to the ground and crawled away delighted with herself.

I gasped. A first step. Elation immediately filled me like a balloon and then, just as quickly, a bit wheezed back out again, deflating.

A first step.

My last child's first step.

Excitement and sadness had a little cat fight in my chest. Excitement won, hands down.

But it was left somewhat subdued by the vision of time passing before my eyes. Like the leaves just starting to turn vibrant shades outside my window. A breathtaking harbinger of the end of a season.

I exhaled. And began clapping and "whooping" happy cheers for Clara. She laughed and clapped in response. Then I scooped her up and ran downstairs to show her father.

17 comments:

slouching mom said...

Oh, yes. Sigh. The very definition of bittersweet.

Go, Clara!

Don and Lynn said...

YAY Clara! She's walking for Daddy because she knows he won't be walking for a bit :o)

Veronica Mitchell said...

Such a tender and proud moment.

Kyla said...

Oh bittersweet is right. But so, so exciting! Way to go, Clara. I can imagine the giggles.

Chrissy said...

Such an eloquent description of that moment. I'm happy for her, but I understand that series of "last" firsts can be sad.

Beck said...

Good job, Clara! And what a sweet, sad post.

Kellan Rhodes said...

"My last childs first step," - ooooh. When you described it - I could almost see it myself. I wanted to see it and share in the joy of such a precious moment - and I don't even know this child.

karen said...

Talk about squeezing your heart! What a sweet, special moment...thanks for sharing. :)

Spice Girl said...

Would now be the appropriate time to say that I never had that moment because my little porkers didn't walk until they were almost 18 months old??? Yeah, tendonitis over here made me pass that feeling right on by...

Congratulations to Clara!

spaz said...

Yay Clara!!!! you go girl!

painted maypole said...

beautifully written

Chaotic Joy said...

Ginger-Ben didn't walk til 18 months either and Clara's almost 15. I was estatic with Ben but with Clara it's definately bittersweet.

Veronica Mitchell said...

Just a comment to let you know I read your comment on my post. Thank you. I hope it is helpful. If you still want to email, it's veronimitch AT hotmail DOT com (you know, with symbols instead of AT and DOT).

erin k said...

What a lovely post. My first child's first step will be any day now...

Lori said...

I have had, and continue to have, these moments with Pumpkin all the time. The last child's "firsts"... definitely bittersweet.

Go Clara, Go!

thirtysomething said...

Sigh. A moment to remember indeed. Yay, Clara!
My last baby, Serenity, didn't walk until she was nearly 18 months, and to be honest I enjoyed those last few months of extra baby time, but that first step is always exciting. Beautifully written post by the way.

childlife said...

Joy, this was breathtakingly beautiful. My heart just broke at the line... "My last child's first step..." So many moments like that - you just want to soak them up down to your toes and make sure you don't miss a drop. So happy for Clara! (Better tie on those runnin' shoes Mom!)