Wednesday, May 20, 2009


There are a lot of big milestones happening around here lately. Noah, at 10, has now stayed home alone while I ran to pick us up our favorite milkshakes from downtown. It was a whole seven minutes and 28 seconds, not that I was counting (deep sigh of relief). Max is actually opting to sleep in his "big boy bed" (as in, the futon mattress on the floor of our room) instead of hurling himself headlong into our bed when he wakes in the middle of the night. Lizzie's vocabulary is steadily increasing and she's slowly moving toward more food, less milk in her daily diet.

But there are the small milestones too, the ones that slip by unnoticed if we aren't paying attention. I found myself privy to one of these moments last night, as the kids and I headed out back for a pre-bedtime walk in the woods.

When we hit the tall grasses of the field, Lizzie normally squawks and throws her arms up in that "Mama-carry-me-right-now!" kind of way. Which I do. The entire time we are out walking. Occasionally, she'll let me set her down, so long as I hold her hand. Tightly.

As the dusk light gathered around us yesterday, however, something happened: she. let. go. I don't know if the whoops and yells of her brothers, far ahead and in a full-on stick sword battle caught her attention.

Or maybe it was our dogs, circling like she was a lamb that needed herding that distracted her.

Or it might have just been this:

Whatever it was that made it happen, My little girl let go of my hand.

She began to walk away from me-- tentatively at first-- as she reached over and touched everything in sight.

She came back once or twice to steal a hug before venturing off again, a little further...

As for me, I just hung back, watching her go. I took a few breaths, knowing I was seeing her gain a little independence, a little desire to explore the world around her all on her own. High in an old oak, a mourning dove cooed. Its song seemed full of peace and promise, as it carried my girl forward.

*I disappeared for a week (something to do with a dead computer...sigh) but I'm back, and do plan to post here at least twice each week. You can also find me at Cluck and Tweet, where I post crafts and recipes and silly domestic matters every other day (and on my off days, my partner in crime is much funnier than I). I'm also still here at MyNorth, where this month I'm focusing on fun things to do outdoors with the little ones.


Joy said...

My youngest, who was 18 months last summer, had grass issues as well. It took him until August (at 20 months) to walk in the grass with any regularity. Now, he doesn't even notice. :) Congrats to Noah for holding down the fort!

Lora said...

this is a great post that brings back a very bittersweet memory.

i'm pretending like my son will NEVER be old enough to leave at home alone!

Muslim Hippie said...

Just so you know, I am following you everywhere. First off I stop by here to read wonderful poetically woven insights, then I hop over to cluck and tweet for a different angle, and major laughs ( loved the air diving super hero shots of your little one. Awesome!also sorry about your laptop.Bummer) And today is my lucky day. I found out you also write for and share even more amazing photos. So hope you don't mind a stalker as a web friend. ( you're lucky I live in Chicago! also plz don't report me!)you have been warned (wohaaaha haaa in case you didn't get's my evil laugh)

T said...

Hi, You stopped by my blog and now I am saying hi on yours. I will enjoy reading this. I am trying to figure out where you live. I am in Hawaii. Sweet post about your hubbie. Best, Theresa

patsyrose said...

There isn't a blog I enjoy more than yours. You are an excellent writer with exceptional insight and your children are blessed to have you for their mother.

I understand you are about 30 years old and I'm 68 but you are opening my eyes to things I never knew or recognized. Keep it coming.

Sus said...

Look. At. Those. Fantastic. Leg. Warmers. on those sweet little legs.

Oh, sorry, was I supposed to comment on something meaningful like our children letting go of us? Just watched the season finale of LOST and am too mystified to go deeper than leg warmers.


Brooke G. said...

How sweet she is and what a BIG girl.... letting go is indeed a BIG step. My little guy, who is 19 mths, is off and running so fast that I kinda wish he would hold on a little longer..... no such luck. Now I spend my days jogging along behind, trying to just keep up. Little legs can move quick, real quick!

Astarte said...

What a bittersweet moment! I find I never cherish the close moments more than when I realize they are almost at an end. She took a huge step today, and you were the one who made her feel safe enough to do it. What a big girl!