One-year-olds are my favorite. They cry sometimes and don't always communicate well, and sometimes their diapers are messy. Sometimes they bite each other. Sometimes they bite me. All in all, though, they're really a lot of fun. They are still learning about life and how it works, so everything is exciting and super cool. The sound of a cricket is the most interesting thing ever. A sticker is cooler than anything. Everything is new. Everything is worth noticing. And one-year-olds notice because they've just gotten to that age where they are physically and mentally able to notice.
I've worked with a lot of one-year-olds, but it's been a few years since I've worked (long-term) with a child who hasn't learned how to walk yet. There are a couple of kids in my preschool class who are still learning to walk. I've forgotten how much fun it is to help a child learn to walk.
I like the feeling of their little fingers grasping mine as they teeter uncertainly across the floor. I like it when they let go, attempting to walk a few feeble steps on their own. When they succeed to walk those few steps, it's one of my favorite things in life.
Because here is what happens, and it's so cute and amazing to watch. The kid finally works up the courage to let go of my fingers. She teeters a few steps forward on her own. She gets even more confident and takes a few real strides. Then she gets so excited and proud of herself that she does this bouncing up and down happy dance. Then her legs proceed to give out and she falls down on her little bum bum.
I love this. It's a great learning time that comes before the kid eventually learns how to control her legs and support herself with them. I know in a few short weeks, the kids in my class will all be walking, and these fun times will be a happy memory.
And right now I'm also learning to walk. There are things I'm about to attempt (and in some small ways am already attempting) that I've not attempted before. Sometimes I get so excited about my plans that I want to just take off soaring into the sky. But I can't fly yet. In fact, I haven't even learned to walk.
I have to learn to take the baby steps before I learn how to walk. I'm taking them now by talking to some people, getting my ideas out there so I can get feedback/prayer, trying to figure out what I need to do and how I need to go about doing it. It's scary, and sometimes I just want to hold someone's hand as they help me awkwardly stumble forward. Sometimes I'm going to have to let go and take a few steps forward on my own. Sometimes I'm going to fail, sometimes I'm going to succeed. And when I succeed, I'll probably have a few moments where I get overconfident, do a happy dance, and then proceed to fall on my not so little bum bum.
And that's okay. This is a great time of my life, and I almost missed it because I was trying to envision the end of the road before I started living in the beginning. I don't know where my dreams will end. I don't know if I'll learn to fly someday. I do know that learning to walk is enough of an adventure for me at the moment. I'm going to enjoy it as much as possible, have as much fun as possible.
Maybe someday I'll look back on this time as one of the best times of my life. Right now, I'm taking it one baby step at a time....
Thanks for praying and taking this journey with me!