Today I had dinner at my cousins' house. S~ and S~ have a nine-month-old daughter who is as cute as a button. However, H~ takes a lot of time to warm up to people, so I have not had the opportunity to hold her. Poor kid has had to deal with reflux, milk allergies and colic. Not an easy start to life. But, she is doing much better.
To my pleasant surprise, H~ smiled at me when I first came into the living room. She is at the creeping stage and was holding onto my cousin's hands and walking round the house. S~ said H~ is constantly moving and much happier when she can move freely out and about.
After dinner, we went outside to the front yard and mingled with the neighbors, which seemed like a fairly common routine. People gathered, set up chairs and chatted as several kids weaved in and out of the driveways on their bikes. H~ was alternating between a push toy and walking around with S~ and S~.
As I was sitting on the ground in the driveway, H~ came walking over to me holding S~'s hand. Then, she reached out her tiny hand to me and I took it. Standing up, I joined S~ as H~ lead us around the driveway in wobbly zigzags. After a few passes around the driveway circling the group sitting in chairs, she meandered to the push toy again with her mom. I rejoined the group of adults and listened to the conversation.
After a short time, H~ returned to where I was sitting. This time she held both hands out to me with a smile as she caught her breath in the breeze. I picked her up and lifted her up a few times. It was the first time I really got to hold her. She seemed ready to go, so I took both of her hands to go for another walk. She was picking up the pace and then held on with just one hand. It was a mix of the warm sun, just before dipping down for a more pronounced sunset, and cool, gusty air. As we paced the walk, my curls bounced in the breeze and H~'s wisps floated under the weight of her clip. Faster and faster she went as she transitioned back to one hand on the push toy and the other in my hand, especially on the incline down the drive. Little by little she wanted to do more on her own and I could sense her increasing bravery. She then held the handle with two hands, and I quickly followed behind her keeping my hands hovering near her waist. Smiles and giggles as she cruised to her mom.
It was a sweet moment and a welcomed gift. It was brief, but felt like it was filling an infinite space within that moment. Reminding me of kite flying with Little Bear in her grandmother's garden, I became aware of being present and taking in the joy.
How I have often wondered what it would be like or if I would have the opportunity to hold a tiny, trusting hand of one who is exploring her developing mobile freedoms and expanding the parameters of the world around her. When I dreamed of motherhood, that was the kind of thing I imagined.