Ivy is officially truckin'.
there is nothing more exciting and terrifying than watching your child learn to walk. You are suddenly made aware of all the sharp corners and edges around your house. It's amazing how something, in this case- watching your child toddle around for the first few times, can make you see your home in a different light. In an instant your perception of your home shifts from "home sweet home" to "deathtrap". Tables, corners, walls, window sills, cupboards,stuff she can reach, stuff she can climb up on, stuff she can pull over on herself, stuff she can fall off of, places she can get stuck, things she can slam her fingers in....every time I see her walk around some area of the house or try to manipulate some obstacle, in the back of my mind I'm constantly doing damage assessment....like:
"O.K. she's sitting in her little rocking chair in the middle of the carpeted floor with no hard toys or furniture around her...if she somehow nosedives off the chair, she'll only fall forward, I'll sit here in front of her on the floor so I can catch her so she doesn't smack her face on the floor. Good thinking, Mike. You're such a forward thinking, wonderful dad".
But it never works out like that.
She'll find some way of back flipping over the back of the chair and somehow do some weird mid-air half-twist and land with her fingers under the rocking chair at the exact moment that her other hand grabs the arm of the chair to break her fall which pulls the chair back and pinches every finger on her hand while her leg gets pinned behind her in some weird greco-roman wrestling submission hold.
Once your kids start walking...they'll never stop. Once they start talking, they'll never stop. These are blessings sometimes dressed in the clothing of curses.
Still, I love it. I never ever though I'd enjoy parenting as much as I do. I never imagined that it would be so easy to sacrifice my own agenda for the sake of my family. The things that your kids do that you take joy in as a parent...can sometimes make you feel like a mental patient for enjoying so much....the slightest expression on your child's face...they smallest inflection in a word they speak....the catch-phrase or slang that they say that completely catches you off guard. Seeing them perform tiny acts of thoughtfulness or unprompted acts of kindness....brings so much joy.
I guess even watching your kid take a creative nose dive off the back of her tiny rocking chair could bring joy....if she sticks the landing :^)
Also...not quite worthy of it's own "Gavinism" post, but....
Today Gavin earned a dollar from his grandpa for helping with a job. I came home from work, and the family was riding bikes in the driveway. Gavin runs up to me and goes: "I got this dollar for helping Pa. I'm gonna use it to buy some poor kid something."
I was so full of joy. I was rubbing my eyes, and shaking my head from side to side, but still full of joy.