Freedom // thoughts on my daughter’s new-found independence

My baby has learned to crawl.

It’s funny, she has always been very strong – she was planting her feet and standing when I held her up as soon as she was born – she has wanted to take off for awhile.  Some of our friends’ babies who were born within a week of her were crawling a couple of months ago, and I was anxiously awaiting Eloise’s takeoff.  I wondered when she would finally crawl on her own, and yesterday she began.  Today, she has been doing it consistently.  In fact, right now she has embarked on our dining room for the very first time venturing outside of the living room where she’s been safely planted for the past 8 months of play time.

It comes as no surprise to me that today happened to also be one of her happiest days, as well.  She hasn’t cried hardly at all, she has been smiley, “talkative”, and bouncy.  

A friend of ours who has a daughter who, like Eloise, is very strong-willed and driven, gave me some very good advice early on: “She will be happier with each step toward independence she takes.” Already, this has proven true – from sitting, bouncing on her own in her jumperoo, and now to crawling – my baby who was so fussy and frustrated for months is blissfully happy as she rejoices in her ability to take control over this small piece of her life.

When you think about having a baby, you imagine a little creature with your husband’s eyes, your hair, his sense of humor, your strong opinions… you have this irrational idea that you have control over who they are, who they will become.  Then, you find out their gender and you gleefully celebrate this, the first piece of information about your little wonder, as you realize that you never had an ounce of control, all you can do is guide them.  

Today, I am celebrating who our Eloise is – a joyful, funny, driven, smart, strong, independent, little girl with a personality much bigger than her tiny body.  I’m celebrating with her as she is relishing her first steps away from me and into this world she will discover for herself, beginning with our dining room.

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