Thursday, August 20, 2009
Manolin is walking now.
Walking everywhere, all the time, without a thought behind it. No longer toddling or simply cruising around, doing his best to gain the cooperation of his lower limbs. No, we're past all that. It's a completely automatic reaction now; he cranes out from my hip, arching toward something on the floor. I slide him from his perch and before he's even close to my knee his chubby legs shoot out--rigid--ready to do their job.
It's as if he never scooted his way across my kitchen. Never bear-walked through the hall at church. Never crawled from toy to toy.
He's walking now. Running, nearly.
He is a toddler.
No more babies! No more limp weight dangling from my side. No more bottles to prepare, heat, serve, wash, repeat. No more fragile sleeping schedule. No more steaming and blending veggies and meats. No more tiny, delicate little ones to shelter from the ruckus of older siblings.
But, oh ...
No more babies. No more warm, sweet softness clinging to my side. No more gazing into wide, trusting eyes peering over the rim of a bottle while enjoying the perfect little head on the crook of my arm. No more easily-predictable downtimes. No more warm fuzzies of satisfaction from serving up my love in food form. No more giggling, bouncing ones to enjoy the fray of the big kids.
Manolin is a toddler now. He wants to be a part of every fracas, every meal, every everything. He is not content to ride out life. He's ready to grab it by both ears and tear off a chunk for himself.
And it is glorious.
I would be shocked, awed, amazed if God's plan for us at this point included any more tiny souls. Preschoolers, big kids ... yes. But babies? I think Manolin was God's gracious, beautiful gift that helped us feel that door close with a last, sweet dose of mercy and love.
And I'm o.k. with that. I actually am. I never thought the day would come, but right now I immensely honored to be charged with the task of escorting six people into adulthood. Anything else ... well, that's what they call gravy, right?
I guess we're all getting our bearings around here. Growing, moving forward. Walking. And not looking back.