I believe we have a little climber on our hands.
On the same day that Haley took her first step she also decided to climb a ladder to the loft at her grandpa's house. My little monkey never ceases to amaze me. It took her about 5 minutes of trying to finally work out the mechanics and muster up the courage to climb up a step on the ladder, but she did it, all by herself. It was pretty adorable to watch her fuddle through the process. And very exciting to see her exert her independence at accomplishing the task she set for herself.
About 2 days later, she accomplished a similar task at the playground. It made me smile because I had just been expressing my envy to another mom at the fact that her almost 1 year old (her birthday was the next day) had been walking for a month and a half. As Haley stood up on the 2nd rung of the playground ramp the other mom was impressed with Haley's climbing, and tried to get her daughter to follow suite.
There's a lesson in all this, or at least an observation...
It's funny how there is this unwritten competition between moms for our children to achieve tasks faster and earlier. We feel their early achievements somehow make us better moms, super moms. But in reality, the timing in which your baby accomplishes milestones has very little to say about your parenting abilities. Babies do things at their own pace, and while one may walk at 9 months they may not really talk until their two; another may be streaming words together before they can run around the yard.
Even with that knowledge it is difficult to stop judging ourselves against our babies accomplishments.
This is not a pattern I want to set up for Haley's life. I do not want to pressure her into doing something she's not ready to do, or make her feel that her worth is based in her abilities more so than her character. This doesn't mean that I won't encourage her to 'step' out of her comport zone, like today when she practice walking to me. (I only got one step again, but she did stand herself up many times). It just means that I hope her self-worth does not waver with her accomplishments or lack there of. I want her to know she is loved for being, and not for the things she can or can't do.
As a parent, all through Haley's life I want her to achieve any things and do well. I would love for her to be on the starting line for whatever team she's in, I wold love for her to be the lead in the school play, the valedictorian of her class, the chief of her tribe at summer camp. But the fact is that my love for her will not waiver even if she never accomplishes any of those things. My worth is not found in my accomplishments, it is found through Christ, and the same is true of my little girl.
It may be difficult but I have to stop comparing my baby to all of the others around her and instead focus on the wonderful things that make her uniquely mine. I have to let her know starting now that my love for her in unconditional. I have to stop the thoughts in my mind that crave for her to accomplish things for the sake of pride.
Haley is a blessing and even if I can't brag that she is walking yet, there are a thousand other wonderful things I can say about my daughter, things much more valuable and important than milestones and highly developed gross motor skills.
Of course I will still be really excited if she walks by August 11th. I wish the prideful desire to brag on her wasn't so strong, but even if it's silly, I love to shout about her accomplishments for the world to hear. But, walking or not, every day she makes me smile, and that is more than enough.