Baby Steps

While I was on my way to work yesterday, Josh texted me to let me know that my Nellie, the babe who spent 9 months in my womb and has spent 10 months outside, had taken two whole unassisted steps.

My heart. My babe. She’s almost a toddler. Never in my life have I felt so fiercely proud.  It seems sometimes I might burst from the inside out from the pride… Never in my life have I felt so out of control of time, of life; so desperate to just freeze these moments to cherish them just a little bit longer. Pleading with time to stop careening forward with such alarming speed… Motherhood is simultaneously the most beautiful and most painful thing I’ve ever gone through. Every day, that baby grows apart from me, and into her own little person. Every day, I lose her just a little bit more. As she takes her first wobbly steps, she has no idea that in her little hands, she holds my heart. My soul. The very essence of my being. She never will know, will never be able to fully grasp the gravity of that unless she has children of her own one day.. Then, and only then will she understand how bittersweet and frightening loving a child and watching them grow is.

I know that I have to learn to let her fall, to let her land hard and learn her lessons so next time, she will do differently. Sometimes we have to hurt to understand the mistakes that caused the pain.

Yes, I have to learn how to take a deep breath, let go of her hands, and let her toddle farther into the journey that is her life… But the thing she doesn’t know yet  is that I will always, always be standing just behind her… Ready to catch her if she falls. I can’t help it. That’s just… Motherhood.