In the past couple of weeks, my 14 month old finally got off his lazy crawling knees and began walking around. Feel free to scoff at us and pat yourself on the back about how advanced your child was to be walking before he/she was 1. I’m not jealous. Because, as anyone who has children will tell you, once they start walking, everything changes.
The first big change, of course, is that my son doesn’t like riding in a cart, being held, or being relegated to a seat or stroller nearly as much. He wants to have those two little feet on the ground so he can practice walking. Even at home, though he still plays with his toys, he’s been more interested in carrying them as he does laps around the kitchen and living room.
I know there will come a time when I don’t think the walking, nay running away, isn’t cute anymore. But, for now, I love watching my little “drunken sailor”. You know, the wide legged, arms up for balance, wobbling around walk. It’s just the cutest thing.
But, the best thing about my son learning to walk? He has slowed me down.
Contrary to the Southern stereotype, I actually have never been very good at “moseying about”. Yes, life moves slower in the South and compared to my Northern friends and relatives, I don’t move fast. But, walking with a 14 month old is even slower than moseying – it’s a snail’s pace.
It’s tough for this fast walker to slow down. But, I have to say, I’m really enjoying it. I’m enjoying taking in the world in a different way. I like noticing things that I wouldn’t have noticed before. I love seeing what my son is discovering about the world as he touches, smells, licks (yes, licks), and looks at new and exciting things that he couldn’t see when he was crawling on his belly.
How quickly we tend to rush through life! Half of the time, we don’t even notice other cars on the road when we’re driving our regular routes because it’s become practically robotic movements for us. How can we notice the blooming trees or beauty of people when we don’t even really see the road? How can we be polite and generous to others around us in stores and restaurants or at work when we can’t be bothered to notice them?
People are right – every stage of your child’s life is interesting and exciting. But, contrary to everyone’s opinions, I like this walking stage. It’s a big change for the little guy that’s giving him a new lease on life. And, it’s a welcome change for me, as he teaches me to slow down and smell (and, sometimes even lick!) the roses.