The other day I attempted to take my son to the park. It is only a 2-minute walk from our apartment. Therefore, I always have our son walk there while holding my hand. After all, he could not walk independently yet.
We get to the park entrance, and my son did not want to go in. Instead, he wanted to keep walking. My first thought was, it takes me 10 minutes to speed walk around this complex. I am going to end up having to carry him back if we do this but, we kept walking.
I could not help but look down at my little boy and think, this might be the last time he wants to hold my hand and walk with me. We walked for 12 minutes before he looked up at me and said, “up.” I cherished every second of those 12 minutes. I have learned that even that even though a task might be dreadful for me, I may look back one day and wish I enjoyed the moment. I knew that this would be one of the last times my son would need my help to walk. I will tell you that the walk back was horrible. I was carrying my son in the horrific humidity on a hot summer’s day. I was drenched in sweat by the time we got back but, I did not dare complain.
A few days later, my husband and I took our son to a different park. We each held onto one of his hands as we walked to the park. I remember another Mom telling me that my son was fairly advanced in the language department. Her daughter was also 13 months old but, was walking. I said that every kid has their own strengths and explained that our son was not walking independently yet. Honestly, I was starting to feel discouraged. Oddly, all of our friend’s kids started walking at 9 months.
Later that night, I happened to look up from what I was doing. To my surprise, I saw my son walking across the living room. I said my husband’s name trying to get him to turn around. Naturally, our son quickly sat down and acted like he had not just been walking. Throughout the night, he continued to walk when he thought nobody was watching.
As dinner was cooling off, we decided to try to get him to walk on camera. He started off walking between us and quickly progressed to running back and forth between my husband and I. Our son created our favorite game that night. My husband and I sit on opposite sides of the room, our son runs to one of us and gives a hug. Then, he runs back and gives a hug. Typically, this game lasts for 30 minutes. The night left us with memories that we knew would last us a lifetime.
I had every intention of posting this article as soon as he started walking. Fast forward a month and a half and I am just now posting it. After all, our son likes to keep us on our toes. In the coming weeks, he would walk in public until he noticed that somebody was watching. After he caught somebody’s attention, he would quickly drop to the ground and start crawling. I started to wonder if I had been wrong. Perhaps he would still want to walk with me. Of course, with due time, my son once again proved me wrong.
He now runs around everywhere. He does not always like to hold a hand while crossing the street. I usually let him walk around the end of the hall as I unlock the apartment door. He used to come inside as soon as I opened the door. Now, he stares at the water through the railing rather than coming inside. He runs around the kitchen with his friends. He absolutely loves the freedom that walking gives him. It is a bittersweet moment when you reach this milestone. There have been times that I have been extremely thankful that he can walk and other times not so much. Cherish the moments you have with your child. It may not be ideal at the moment but, it may be an amazing memory down the road. I know I will always appreciate the 12-minute walk with my little man.