We’ve all been waiting for it and now it’s finally happened!
Molly has taken her first independent steps!
She’s already 17 months so she’s a bit of a late bloomer, but hey, we all get there in the end. The first time it happened we were in Dubbo, visiting my in-laws. She was holding onto a chair on the dining table, then took three steps over to the couch to get to Mum. It was probably only just one step that she wasn’t holding on for, but she managed to transfer her weight from one foot to the other so that was exciting.
After that she lost confidence and didn’t do any more walking for a week or so. Then she waited until the one night of the year that I went out with some girlfriends and decided to run a marathon while I wasn’t looking. According to an eyewitness account from a reliable 6 year old I know, she took at least five steps before she fell down on her bottom. I can’t say she has mastered the whole walking concept yet but she is definitely making progress.
I think she has started to understand that it is something she can learn. The thing I’ve realised watching Molly slowly learn to walk is that it really does take a lot of practice. She’s in this stage where she wants to walk, but she’s not quite confident enough to do it on her own, so she crawls over to one of us, takes both our hands, stands up and asks us to walk with her wherever she wants to go. I don’t want to complain, but it’s actually very time consuming and sometimes slightly annoying. I can be in the middle of cooking breakfast or getting dressed and Molly will come over and want me to take both her hands and walk up and down the hall with her. Or she’ll want to climb up and down the stairs over and over again.
Often when people talk about taking on a new task or learning a new skill they’ll use the phrase ‘baby steps’ to mean that things don’t happen overnight. It really is so true. We’ve been enjoying watching The Voice lately. I think it’s a very positive show, but you could so easily get the impression that to be successful all you have to do is go on a TV show, become an overnight sensation and it will somehow change your life. What people forget is all the years of learning and practice and preparation that has got those artists to the point where they can sing on national TV without falling apart.
Learning to walk is one of the most life-changing skills anyone could ever learn. Watching Molly practicing her walking over and over again has reinforced to me that achieving anything in life requires baby steps, lots of practice, lots of persistence and even more patience. I sometimes get sick of holding Molly’s hand as she traipses up and down the hallway, but isn’t that what we all need to achieve our dreams? Somebody to hold our hand, while we practice and stumble and fall over on our bottoms again and again and again, until one day, when nobody’s looking, we discover that if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, we can walk all by ourselves. I’m looking forward to sharing that moment with Molly one day soon.