A new ritual has emerged now that our littlest one has begun walking on his own. (Walking. Already. Wow.) Once this boy of mine was able to stand on his own and put one foot in front of the other, he made it pretty clear to us that he was ready to go. If the front door opens, he's ready, shoes or not, to keep on going. For Jude, who spends so much of his time following others, being led and taken by us everywhere, the power of walking must seem like a revelation. Even though I've witnessed this stage two other times, I had kind of forgotten just how much it changes everything.
To help him usher in this new phase of his life, I've begun to set aside 30 minutes in the morning, once the older boys are off for the day, where I set aside my own agenda so I can follow him for a change. Other than letting him walk right into the street which he often wants to do, I try not to put any limits on where he goes. Somedays he turns left out of our door and heads straight up the street to an empty covered parking space so he can hear his voice echo off its walls over and over again. Other times, he runs his fingers up and down the bumpy trunks of all the trees on our side of the steet, or he'll be busy finding all the delicate flower petals so he can feel their silkiness between his fingers. Touching car door handles, though, seem to be on his daily must list.
When others ask me what life is like with three young children, I often find myself replying that because we're all so busy, Jude simply goes along for the ride, missing afternoon naps because of music lessons, being toted on countless errands, watching his mother sit at her computer much longer than he would ever like. So I gladly let him lead me on our walks. Momentarily I'm freed from my obligations, and from the thoughts and plans and ideas that are swirling around in my brain. Instead I'm reminded of one of the eternal lessons of parenthood: simply, simply living in the moment.
Thank you baby Jude.