Well, tonight was a momentous occasion in the Merrill household -- Elena took her first solo steps!
I was typing an email to Chris while the kids played and watched Thomas after dinner, before bath and bed. Elena was standing at the edge of the couch, like so many other times, watching Garrett walk away from her. Then she took three steps towards him, as if to say, "Hey, wait for me!" before she collapsed. Needless to say I shouted with joy, which startled her just a bit. Garrett looked very confused. I propped her up against the couch again, and coaxed her to walk towards me with her sippy cup -- another three steps before falling. Then 1, followed by another single. However, with each attempt she looked more and more proud of herself. Too cute. After that she was done, her legs were tired out, but her smile was still 100 watt bright.
Watching her tonight, I couldn't help but reflect on Garrett's first steps. He walked for months holding onto just one finger of mine. Chris was convinced Garrett was just waiting until he came home from deployment. So, anyway, after Chris came home he had a party for work that Garrett and I accompanied him to. Chris's immediate boss has a daughter that has the exact same birthday as Garrett, and there she was at the party running all over the place. I pointed her out to Garrett, "See her? See what she is doing? You should be doing that." It's not like he hadn't been playing with other little people who were walking. However, my son evidently needed to be shown up by a cute girl to finally take the plunge by himself. Propped up next to a table, I held out Garrett's favorite truck, enticing him to walk towards me. Step by sweet step, Garrett made his way towards his truck and all the way to the next table. Once the little man realized what he had accomplished there was no stopping him. And no rest for me for the rest of the night as I chased him around the Officer's Club. By the end of the evening, he was trekking across the entire banquet room and halfway back under his own power. From that point on there was no stopping him. I really do think that he was waiting to show off his stuff to Dada -- Chris was so happy to share that moment.
So, I'm sad that Dada wasn't here to share Elena's moment. But I'm thankful that she didn't wait another three months before taking her first steps. That would have been a little much. Now my real test as a single mommy starts -- two toddlers taking off in opposite directions. I'll fill you in on my progress.