I got a birthday present that I didn’t expect on Sunday. It was a type of bittersweet present. It was bitter because I wasn’t there to see it. Still it was a sweet milestone achieved. On my birthday in the year of our Lord two thousand and nine Braden took his first steps.
According to Arica he took four or five steps. They had just got home and were bringing some bags into the house. All of a sudden Braden just took off walking for them. I think the only reason he stopped was that Mommy and Grandma’s screaming scared him half to death. If I was there I would be screaming too. Way to go little buddy.
Since then I have been thinking about how a baby’s mind comes to the decision it is time to try walking. This is a huge step for them. It must me petrifying. So what can we as adults compare to this in our lives? What have we ever done that took the same nerve that it would take to try walking for the first time?
The only thing I could think of from my life was the first time I tried to water ski. I was thinking this is great. I am great. Soon I will be super cool. All of a sudden reality strikes. I think wait a minute. I am holding on to this rope. The other end is tied to a super fast ski boat. I have these two wooden planks under my feet. What part of this is a good idea?
In TV land I have another comparison. TV land often times intersects with reality in my head. I find myself telling stories sometimes about things that happened in TV shows like I was there. That is a story for another time. Actually that is a story for my therapist. Back to how Braden walking relates to TV land. I think the decision he made to try, and the courage he must have mustered up inside his little baby gut compares to Frodo’s quest to destroy the ring. Little hairy footed Frodo had to travel to Mordor and cast the ring into the fires of Mount Doom. That even sounds intimidating. Along the way all sorts of evil things were after him. Yet he decided to do it for the good of Middle Earth. Frodo took on the perils for the better good. (Thank you for tolerating my inner Tolkien dork.)
I would think that in a babies mind walking probably seems about as perilous as Mount Doom, Sauron, and the Uruk-hai. Letting go for the first time and trying to balance yourself while moving forward is no small feat. However, since the beginning of time babies have always made that scary choice. So why do they do it? It must be the quest for freedom that drives them to take such chances.
They crawl. They walk. They drive. They go to college and so on.
Congrats Braden on reaching the second step on your journey to freedom.