begins with a single step

When Brandon was smaller, I used to wonder how parents ever stopped marveling at each new thing they learn. Every milestone of his I wanted to write down, so I could remember it when he was older and I was more weathered, less amused. I praise him for the most mundane things, because it is the first time I knew he could do it.

But after the first time doing anything, accomplishments are no longer feats and become ordinary. The first time Brandon pooped in the toilet I FaceTimed Steve, danced and whooped and loaded Brandon up on reward sweets. But then the first time I found poop on the floor, I admonished Brandon repeatedly like a bad dog, now expecting him to always poop in the toilet like he did the first time, but without the jubilation. Things like this lose their luster quickly, I suppose. I used to be so impressed by Brandon’s speech, asking him to recite some of his best things for people like he was some sort of circus monkey. Now if ever there was something he couldn’t say, I’d probably be disappointed in him for what he doesn’t know, rather than proud of him for what he does.

Today, I watched Brandon playing soccer with his friend and I realized we are past babyhood and even past toddlerhood into boyhood. Playing soccer is something he could be doing at three and still at seventeen. He is growing into a man and it is frightening but exciting all at the same time. There will be many more milestones still. And yes, the ones he has already passed have turned ordinary and lost their luster, but the exciting thing about people is that they are always growing and changing.

And just when I thought it wasn’t possible to mourn the loss of your children’s babyness anymore, Holden took his first step on his own tonight. Right in the front yard, barefoot in our grass. I am looking forward to boyhood with my little guys. And I might sniffle a little at how fast their infancy fled from them, but not because I don’t want them to grow up, but rather because I’m so impressed at how well they’re doing it.

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