Monday, February 19, 2007

First Steps

I remember Josiah's first step very clearly. He was almost ten months old and was at the stage where you could set him down and he would stand on his own, but wasn't quite walking yet. We were at church where Al was rehearsing with the worship team and Josiah and I were hanging out waiting for him. I set Josiah down in the church aisle and, YAY! He took a step! Happy and excited I took him to the foyer and set him down again. He took another step or two. I don't remember the transition from first step to actually walking, but I think it was just a fairly short time before Josiah started walking on a regular basis.

Things are different with Elijah. He is slower to progress and his "firsts" are not always as clear. I was working on speech with him the other week. I would show him a flashcard and say the name of the object/animal taking care to enunciate clearly and speak loudly (he may have a slight hearing loss). "Cow" (point to the picture and show him the sign). And again, "cow" (giving separate emphasis to each letter). Elijah made a sign similar to "cow" and said "ck." Great job! Then "Egg," (pointing and enunciating. I don't know the sign though). Elijah pointed and said "gh." Did he just say "egg"? Or was that just a "g" sound that sounded like "egg"? I think it sounded like "egg." So, is his first word "egg"? Hmmm. I probably can't count that as a first word since he hasn't said it again, but it's wonderful that he is beginning to imitate sounds!

The other day I heard Josiah and Elijah playing together in the other room. I walked over to check on them and Josiah had Elijah propped with his back against the wall. Elijah smiled, took a small step and then toppled over. Was that his first step? I propped Elijah against the wall
again and squatted a few feet in front of him with my arms spread out. He took two or three small steps and sat down again. Yay! Josiah and I clapped and cheered while Elijah smiled and clapped for himself. We´ve been trying this a few times each day and sometimes he takes a step or two and other times, especially when we have a camera in hand, he just sits down.

So, I think that was Elijah's first steps. But, I don't know. Do they really count? I mean, was it "cheating" to prop him against the wall first? And the steps were so small; do they really count? I don't know for sure? Do I write this in his baby book or wait for a more obvious step?

I may not be able to write down a specific date for all of Elijah's firsts in the same way I did for Josiah, but I don´t think it matters. I am still incredibly proud of Elijah. And I am just as happy about Elijah's first steps as I am about Josiah's. Elijah has to work harder to do things a lot of
other kids do without as much difficulty. Rather than being discouraged by what Elijah cannot do, I am proud of what he can do and what he is working towards. Beyond that, I love and celebrate both of my children for who they are. They are made in God's image and have great value regardless of what they can or cannot do.