640.3.hallway

 

I remember vividly my son learning to walk.  We lived in a one-story home at the time; there was a hallway that led from the main living area back to the bathroom and bedrooms.  He would stretch his arms above his head and my husband or I would bend over and hold his little hands (our backs tiring!), and we would walk up and down (and up and down) the hall.  I still remember the smile on his face.  The joy.

 

When my daughter learned to walk, we were in a different home with more than that one hallway.  And there were more tired backs, but there was also a big brother with whom to practice.  He wasn’t old enough to walk her around, but I remember sitting on the floor and my daughter would start with me or my husband, then take a few steps across the carpeted floor to her brother.  He would catch her, steady her.  He would laugh.  She would laugh. More joy.

 

Those early steps were exhilarating for us all.  There was pride and freedom and exploration.  There was accomplishment and strength and a whole new line of vision.  It makes me smile to think back on those early steps.  What a magnificent thing to witness!  I don’t remember my own first steps, but I will remember forever the early steps of both my children.

 

It took great effort for them to learn those steps, but it was also like a game.  It didn’t matter to them if they stumbled and fell.  They simply pushed themselves back up (or, if tiring, perhaps they looked to me and my husband for a hand up) and they began again.  They concentrated on the task at hand.  They took one step, and then another.  Steady for a few, wobbly for a few.  They kept going.

 

They taught me so much.  They continue to teach me so much.  No doubt, my children are my greatest teachers.  It’s a simple concept to take things one step at a time; it’s a different thing to embrace the actual practice.  Nearly sixteen years into motherhood, I still have lots of questions about how to be a good parent.  And, often, doubt creeps in…am I doing a good job?  I think back to their early walking days and am reminded that it’s okay to be unsure and it’s okay to do things in little ways.  It’s okay to wobble.  It’s okay to fall.  I just need to show up and continue the loving, the being present.  I need to walk the proverbial hallway up and down (and up and down).  Eventually, new rhythms are established and we find our groove.  My teen son will learn how to drive.  My pre-teen daughter will (soon) get her ears pierced.

 

New steps.  New rhythms.  In the hallway of our home, on the streets of our town; always in our hearts.  Step, step, stumble.  Step, step, glide. Step, fall.  Get up (because it’s really okay), and carry on…

 

From me to you, here and now…
Michelle