It's been a while since I've had the time to blog. Shannon's taken a temporary summer job (for which part-time options were sadly scarce) so Will's in day care longer than we'd really care for each day for the next few weeks.
As I am inherently more dense than my wife (and she does spend more time with Young Master -- something which I'm working on) she tends to catch more of his developmental milestones. I was there for the first time he crawled (though in retrospect using my glasses as bait to encourage him wasn't terribly bright), and he took his first stumbling almost-steps toward me in Shannon's parents' den. That's about all I remember, while Shannon has everything meticulously catalogued, notarized and filed in her head.
Oh, yeah -- his first word was "kitty" and I was there for that as well.
Anyway, a couple of nights ago I was most definitely, vividly there and in the moment for another developmental milestone. There's a single step down from our kitchen to the den, and Will has always been fairly adept at steadying himself against the wall as he works his way down and back.
Shannon was on her computer, and I was watching Will when he stood in the center of the step, away from the walls on either side, and very cautiously, thoughtfully, stepped slooooowly down...
...and didn't fall. We clapped and cheered, and he ate up the adulation, of course.
That wasn't what stuck in my mind, though. Shannon resumed her computing. And I watched as Will turned around and immediately tried to walk back up the step, with much less trepidation. He couldn't quite pull himself up, and dropped to his knees. As I watched in amazement, he turned around, walked almost casually down the step, turned around again, and tried again. Stumble. Drop. Crawl. Turn. Step Down. Turn. Step Up. Stumble. Drop. Crawl. Turn. Step Down. Turn. Step Up. Stumble...
Over and over he tried, adding a little choreography by running across the kitchen, tagging the refrigerator, then coming back to the step to try again.
This was the first time I saw my son set his mind to something with the clear intention to "get something right." I could see the determination in his face. The gears were turning in his head. He was going to climb that step without using his hands. This was a challenge.
He finally figured it out last night. But I'm in awe of what I saw the night before: the further evolution of Will's personality. It's the kind of awe every parent feels when their child takes a first step, literally or metaphorically. But just because it's universal doesn't mean it's any less special when you see it.