"C'mon Andy! You can do it! Come to Momma!" I coaxed Andy with a sing-song voice and eager arms as he took wobbly, tentative steps towards me. As he fell into my arms I exclaimed with pride, "Yay! What a big boy!" Then I turned him around and sent him back to wobble a few steps to Chris's eagerly outstretched arms. We went back and forth, day after day until one day Andy, unbidden, walked away from the couch to explore the world on his own two feet.
That one day was four weeks ago; March 30th to be exact. The day that most parents look forward to and dread at the same time. The day that marked a major milestone even more than rolling over, sitting up, and trying solid food for the first time.
Before we know it, Andy will be walking away from us into his kindergarten classroom, then to baseball practice and Boy Scout meetings. He will soon be holding a set of keys as he walks out our front door to drive to high school and his first job.
All too soon he will finish college and walk away to begin the rest of his life and to explore the world on his own two feet.
How do I know this? Because I have a nine-year-old who is growing up in the blink of an eye. I have cheered on his first steps and sent him to kindergarten (and first and second and third grade) and watched him karate chop his way to a black belt (coming in January!). He will also hold a set of keys and a first job and a college degree.
Witnessing the natural evolution of changes in our children is inevitable so as I watch my children walk away to explore the world on their own two feet I will proudly proclaim, "What a big boy!"