A Big Milestone: Walking!

When you think of all the milestones a child will reach in the first few years of life, walking seems like one of the biggest. It’s almost as if a transition takes place in those first few steps: the infant becomes an infant no more. Tonight I shed a few tears, tears of joy but also tears of sorrow, as I watched the last of my children take those first shaky steps out of infancy.

I didn’t expect to feel that way, it kind of came as a shock to me. Honestly, I have been the one encouraging Benjamin and Alexander to walk, eager to help them enter the world of upright travel. Because it is exciting to watch your children grow up and try new things and conquer new feats. I’ve never been one to worry about what happens next or how much harder life will be once they are fully mobile. They’ve already been fully mobile!! When you have to block the entrance to the children’s play place at the mall, as one twin tries to crawl out one way and the other tries to crawl out the other, suddenly having three walking children is no harder than the status quo. So I said, bring on the walking!

I have also been incredibly curious to see when each child would accomplish this feat. Granted, I know better than to compare any of my children. But I am an analyzer, so analyze the data I must… Connor started walking at 10.5 months, early by any standard. The average baby will begin walking right around one year of age, some before, some after. Any of that is within the acceptable developmental norm. But let’s face it, if one of my children is going to be an overachiever, why not all of them?

Alexander was the first to take the plunge. The very day the boys celebrated their 11-month birthday, Alex took several wild, borderline out of control, steps, landing firmly on Alan, laying on the floor. From that very moment, it was as if a lightbulb had turned on. The next day, Alex was walking every chance he got, never phased by falling along the way. That was nine days ago. Since then, he has mastered the art of bending down to pick up an object and then returning to standing, without losing his balance. He still uses furniture to get up initially, but I don’t think that will be the case for long. Even today, I caught him repeatedly just pacing the kitchen, pacing the living room, walking with no set goal in mind, other than to practice and perfect his skills.

Benjamin has taken a different approach to walking. He is the much more cautious of the two boys, so he takes his time until he enters his comfort zone. He has long-since mastered all of the essential skills leading up to walking. He has been cruising on furniture for quite some time. He will happily walk anywhere as long as someone holds his hand for support. And he is a pro with any push toy, so good at maneuvering now he can actually steer around obstacles! But he had yet to find the courage to let go of all support and try on his own… until tonight. Tonight Benjamin took two shaky steps from Daddy’s arms to Mommy’s arms, all on his own! And then he did it again, and a few more times. Tonight was an important step for Ben because he learned that it is okay to let go. And we are so proud of him for his efforts, as we are proud of all of our boys for the things they do!

I can’t wait to see where Ben goes from here, how long until his confidence begins to really build up. And then at that point, look out world, the Knight Boys are on the move!

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