Last night you took one step. It was just one step. You didn't make any progress across the room, you just lifted that little knee and then stomped it back down in the same spot. But you were so proud. You squealed and then fell into my arms giggling. I've only seen your sister pull giggles like that from you, because you, my love, are not easy. You don't give smiles and giggles away to just anyone. You need to trust that person first. You need to love that person first. And even then, when you trust and love a person with all your heart, those belly laughs are few and far between.
But last night, you knew you had done something amazing. Something you'd never done before. The pride and sheer delight that lit up your eyes made me want to burst. I cheered you on and lifted you in the air, but a part of my heart broke. Last night, you would only lift that chubby foot while facing me, but I know not long from now, I'll watch you walk away from me. I know how much you love me, so I know you'll always come back...but as a mother, seeing those first steps of independence are thrilling, terrifying, exciting and heartbreaking all wrapped up in the tiniest little moment.
Last night, you had trouble going to sleep, so I slept with you and as I was falling asleep I thought about what lie ahead. That one little step will now open a whole new world for you. That one little step means that walking is only a couple of weeks off and running just a month or so down the road. That one little step shows you that you are your own person, that you can accomplish things on your own.
So last night, I didn't complain about you not sleeping well. Instead I just held you close and tried to breath in your sweet baby smell. I tried to imprint the feel of your silky soft skin on my heart. I tried to memorize the cadence of your resting breath. I always want to remember these moments. These moments where you let me hold you close. These moments when you're so interested in everything I have to say. These moments where you sleep best in my arms. These moments where taking one step is the most exciting sensation you've ever experienced.