Jonah's entertainment yesterday evening consisted of dragging his tricycle to a new spot in our backyard then sauntering over to where I was working in our garden and telling me, his hands swinging casually, "I moved my tricycle."
I would reply, "You moved your tricycle?"
And he would say, "Yep."
I would say, "Nice job!"
Then he would saunter off to repeat the delightful sequence.
He eventually moved on to moving his "lawn mower" (not really a lawn mower--just this cart thing that's supposed to help babies learn to walk) and then his bike. He kept me informed about his progress every step of the way.
He was so freaking proud of himself. But I understand--I am so proud of him too.
When Jonah was a baby, I was assigned to write a newspaper profile story on a local guitar luthier who was having some success. This man tried to describe for me the feeling he had when he watched the guitarist in one of his favorite bands perform with a guitar he (the luthier) had made.
I could see the feeling in his eyes, and I recognized it: It was awe. A personal, joyful, bursting kind of awe.
I remember the first time +Jonah reached out his baby hand to grab a toy. I'd been holding it in front of his face, giving it a little shake. Staring at it as he had so many times before, this time he finally, so very slowly, lifted his right arm. My heart stood still for a moment as he brought it straight up, then--concentrating--moved it to the left. His chubby fingers made contact, and he closed them around the rattle.
Up til that moment, it had never occurred to me that purposefully lifting an arm for the first time was a meaningful accomplishment. But as I watched him achieve something he never had before, my spirit shouted for joy. It did a little jumping heel click. It shoved its fists in the air.
I smiled at my baby boy in wonder--not just at his achievement, but at the realization of how fully and how brightly I was cheering for him.
I've always cheered for him. Today I noticed him using the word "so" in the right way ("let's go to the store so we can get some gloves for daddy") and I cheered.. Recently he pulled his own pajama pants all the way up and I cheered. And yesterday, he perfected the art of sauntering and I cheered too.
|This is Jonah's camera "smile." Eyes always closed. WEIRD.|
|For good measure: This is Andy's camera smile. NORMAL.|