Thursday, September 08, 2005

moving forward

Olivia finally figured it out today. A couple of weeks short of her first birthday, she has discovered a new skill that will serve her the rest of her life. She took her first steps.

Tentative and timid, casual and anti-climactic -- she simply wanted to try a faster way to span the meter between the backpack leaning up against the desk and my legs draped from the office chair nearby. So she put one foot in front of the other, in a newly familiar sort of imbalancing act, to discover the phenomenon of walking.

It's interesting to note that the physical act of walking upright requires a child to always be slightly off-balance... A bit counter-intuitive; an oxymoron -- controlled chaos, if you will. It would seem to be a "balancing act" -- yet the fact of the matter is that Olivia has had very little problem balancing herself on two feet for the past couple of months. She just hasn't been able to get anywhere because any movement forward, backward, or sideways results in imbalance and the overriding effects of gravity pulling her back to the ground. Balance is safer. Imbalance is kind of scary. However, when these imbalances and gravitational forces can be harnessed and channeled, one foot in front of the other -- a child finds herself walking. And this is what Olivia discovered early this evening.

Yes, Olivia learned a valuable skill today that will offer opportunities for the rest of her life. She learned how to manage her way through obstacles and pressures that threaten to push her down, moving forward instead of collapsing off to one side. She learned how to try something new, in the face of risk and pain. She learned an element of faith... She learned how to walk.


Post a Comment

<< Home