Baby Steps

When my baby was still fragile and helpless she abruptly took it upon herself to walk. Time and again I placed her back on her diaper-clad bum and scolded, “No, no, little one, that behavior is not for the likes of us.”  One cannot be too vigilant when reasoning with a baby about the perils of leaving mother’s nest prematurely.
Then I made a tactical error: one afternoon I left my baby in my mother’s care. Upon my return mom exclaimed in delight, “The baby is walking!” Rather than expose myself for the repressive psycho I had evidently turned into I went along with the heartbreak joy of my daughter’s blossoming autonomy. Hurray.
And so it goes. My girl has grown and discovered and torn herself savagely from me and in return I have endeavored to be her encourager and champion and advice-giver [when she will allow it]. Each time a certain light shines in her eyes – the one that ignites when she tries something new and feels the exhilaration of personal accomplishment  – I record the milestone in a place in my heart only parents know about.
On Monday my baby turned 15. Despite my meddlesomeness she has emerged a lovey, spirited, smart, self-sufficient young woman.
I am so grateful she has spent the last fifteen years perfecting ways of ignoring nearly everything I say.

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