Sunday, April 17, 2011

Change is happening... as I see her walking away

This past week the world's oldest man died at the noble age of one hundred and fourteen. During a press conference a few months back he was asked the secret of his longevity. He replied frankly "Being able to accept change." They were wise words from someone who had endured over a century of tremendous industrial, technical, civil, and personal change, taking each step with stride while accepting life's cyclical pattern of continual evolution, renewal, and recycling.

With that being the case, I realize the emotional struggle I am inevitably going to wrestle over the next eighteen years. I am generally very open to change after I have a few months to marinate my feelings on the subject. There is no time to follow this schedule with children, for they change quicker than the blink of an eye, and if you are not paying attention, you may even miss it.

Senia Mae started walking last week. We had been busy, immersed in our own pastimes while she scooted around on the floor, as an innate voice told us to pay more attention to her. After sitting on the floor for a moment, I noticed a very different confidence in her gait, quickly deciding to get the video camera in case this was the moment we had all been waiting for.

As soon as I turned on the camera, as if she knew this moment should be caught on film, Senia Mae went from a squat to a stand and walked all the way into the living room, like there was absolutely nothing to it. We hollered, clapped, and roared with delight as she trotted around the house with pride, completely enjoying the praise. I can honestly say that two minute time slot was one of the proudest moments of my life. My heart was so full, brimming with emotions so much more than love alone, I wanted to shout the exciting news from the rooftop, so that everyone could share the joy of this baby turning into a toddler. It was then that I realized that there was no turning back from this point, the days of holding onto my baby were over.

Although this week has been truly amazing, for it is absolutely awesome watching her blossom into her own little person, proud as a peacock as she struts around showing off her new found freedom, the feeling itself is bittersweet. There is some sadness surrounding the finality of her no longer being completely dependent on me. It is difficult to put into words, but there is a certain primal energy that miraculously appears with the birth of a child, fragments of your heart, soul, and infrastructure that you were completely unaware even existed. A sense of completeness permeated my being, knowing that her complete survival was dependent on my thoughts, actions, and nurturing ability.

Of course she still needs me, but its intensity is changing, which, I must admit, is equally as cool. This morning as the three of us snuggled under the covers, I held onto her a little closer, savoring the blessings in my life. For even though she's catapulted herself gracefully into toddler hood, she's always going to be my baby.

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