Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Post #3.

Austen really really wants to crawl. She can actually scoot a few feet over the course of a couple of minutes, but she wants to really get going. It is an interesting thing to watch. She gets up on her hands and knees and starts rocking back and forth. You can see it in her eyes--she thinks if she can just get enough momentum, she will be off. It sort of reminds me of one of those toy cars you had as a kid that if you pulled it back and let go it would take off. I am just waiting on her to jet across the floor. However, as of today, all that revving back and forth usually just ends in a face plant. Yet, she immediately gets back up and does it again. She will repeat this process over and over until she reaches the things she most desires (current favorites are her own reflection in the floor length mirror, my cell phone, or the TV remote).

There are two things I have noticed since she has begun her mission to crawl. First, as a parent, this is the first time I have no been able to readily give her what she wants. When she is hungry, I give her food. When she is upset, I comfort her. Only she, however, can put one foot (or in this case, knee) in front of the other and move. This scenario is a little disconcerting for me. I know that I face a lifetime of sitting on the sidelines while I watch her figure it out. I know that when she is 16 (and hopefully no sooner), she will come to me and tell me that I absolutely do not understand her love for a particular boy. I will have to sympathize, offer advice, etc...but I cannot prevent the heartbreak. Just like I can't decide what her chosen path in life is. I am her mother. Not her master. At five months, she already shows signs of a fierce independent streak. I am bracing myself for what this means to me as a parent.

The other thing about watching her figure things out is that it is inspiring. Cliche as it may sound, she never gives up or gets discouraged. She does get frustrated but instictively, she is not satisfied to remain stationary. If she sees something she wants, she will exhaust herself to get it. When do we lose that instinct? I cannot remember the last time I labored for something I really wanted (except when I actually labored--but then again, what choice did I have?). I remind myself that pre-baby, pre-marriage, pre-college--I had an idea of what my adult self would be like. I recognize that life throws us various curveballs and so we must shift our plans but the difference between the woman I am now and the girl I was then is that I don't yearn for things the way I did before. I have aspirations and goals, but I have lost the intensity that I see in Austen's eyes when she is trying to crawl. I have always heard that your children teach you endless lessons and so it is no surprise that I find myself learning a very important lesson from that litle tyke. Staying in one place is boring--growing, discovering, finding adventure--those are the things worth doing. I guess that I will have to join Austen in learning to move towards big, exciting goals again. Afterall, soon she will crawl--and walk, and run--and I want to keep up.

My little mover. I have never been so proud of something or someone in my life.

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