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Walk like a man

“Oh my gosh! He’s walking like a people!”

Ollie is officially stomping around our house. Like a car out of alignment from too many brushes with potholes, he veers a little to the left. He adjusts himself, though, having enough skill to recalibrate to the open arms ahead. It’s delightful and bittersweet. How lucky is the ninth child? So lucky.

When firstborn-Aidan learned to walk, she had me and Lee to walk back and forth to. It was like a tightrope; my arms to his to mine to his.

Ollie has a roomful of outstretched arms to choose. His trail resembles a net, woven strong, ready to catch. He walks from me to Lee to Aidan to Joel. Then, Joel to Sam to Tommy to Aidan to me. So many smiling faces call his name while clapping. Watching him fall forward into a brother or sister’s arms is one of the most beautiful things I’ll ever see. They catch him and turn him back around. Sometimes, they whisper something in his ear and he takes off.

He could have learned to walk without the adulation and encouragement of a mob. But I’m glad he didn’t.

It's blurry. I don't care. I love it.

Sometimes, I wonder how being the youngest will affect his outlook. Will he always think all eyes should be on him? Will he feel lonely when its quiet and there aren’t people to dodge? Will he know how to soothe his own boo-boos when he’s scooped up from sadness immediately? I have to trust what we give to him is what he needs. He was born to be the baby in the net, knowing what it’s like to be caught again and again by so many different people. He probably has more capacity for trust in his pinky than I have in my whole body, and that’s no small thing.

3 comments to Walk like a man

  • Aaah… look at the glee on that little face!!! Our littlest guy has so many loving parents. I fear he may never get to sneak off and do anything terribly bad when no-one is looking, no popping the last cookie into his mouth, no kicking his wet towel under the bed, no tossing his greens under the table at dinner… everything is out there… all the time!!! He seems to be thriving on it!!!

  • Gretchen

    Thank you! Our little guys will get to do those things. They’ll just have to wait for everyone else to leave!

  • Amy

    I can’t believe he’s walking! My, does time fly!

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