Baby steps.

It seems like yesterday my babies were taking theirs. There’s that luscious series of firsts that, honestly, before I became a mama I rolled my eyes at. That’s because before I became a mama, I didn’t get just how precious first steps are. That first smile, first giggle, first roll over, first crawl, first sit-up-without-toppling-over, first step gives way to first lost tooth, first day at school, first grade school crush, first best friend, first…..

Before I knew it, the firsts were few and far between and I was in the thick of mamahood. Tired and unsure and joyous and some indescribable combination of proud, terrified, mesmerized and awestruck every single time I looked at my three kids. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that all too often I felt stuck. Stuck in the daily mundane of lunches and snacks and homework and bedtimes.

My kids, though, are not stuck.

They’re right there with me, sure, asking for snacks and refusing to eat dinner and pouting when things don’t go their way. But they’re not stuck.

They’re priming for their own true set of firsts. They’re prepping for firsts that this mama won’t witness but still wishes she could see. Firsts that mark their own path, their own future apart from me, that I hope—pray –will lead them on the path I so desperately know they deserve.

Truth is, I’m wobbling through my own set of baby steps.

The first steps seem the worst, but they lie. They’re not. Instead those first steps lure us into this false sense of thinking that we’ll get to walk backwards every now and then; even two step, maybe, in a way I can’t do in real life without looking a fool.

They are illusions, these mamahood baby steps; innocuous on the surface, but at their core they change everything; how I spend my day, who I cook dinner for, who I am and who I support. And yes, change is good; but as a mama, I’m scared of these baby steps.

Because semesters give way to summers, and summers give way to states, and states give way to lifetimes connected (hopefully) via phone and Facetime and choreographed visits. I think back to when I stepped out on my own, and only know now that I didn’t understand what I was doing to my dad. I had no clue that, even though he was proud of me, he was taking new baby steps, too (and with only corded phones and care packages to tether).

So here I stand, one foot hovering above the ground, the other one rooted to the floor, pitching a fit and refusing to move. Wishing that I could stop the foot that hovers from stepping but knowing that, if I fight the wrong way, all I’m really going to do is make myself stumble and fall.