To My Baby On the Day of His First Steps

You've taken your first steps. Your first steps all on your own! As your mother, I will always remember this milestone in your life. I will write it down in a little book and tell your grandparents with pride: "He did it! He is walking all on his own!"

But you don't know any of this right now. Sure, you recognize the joy on my face and in my voice and we exchange great, big smiles; but, what you don't know yet is that this new skill of yours will take you to places you cannot even comprehend in that sweet little head of yours. 

I can't tell you where your feet will take you in this life, my little love, but I can tell you that surely some places will be better than others. 

And while I can't protect you from walking into negativity in this life, my little boy, I can promise you that with every step, you will find that life brings you something positive - if you're open to it. 

So, while you navigate your way around our safe and comforting living room on your own two feet, I whisper little prayers for you. 

I pray you when walk through challenges, you learn to find ways to overcome them.

I pray when you walk through disappointments, you learn to find a lesson or two.

I pray when you walk through loneliness, you learn to surround yourself with people who love you and want the best for you. 

I pray when you walk through jealousy, you learn to love yourself deeper than you thought possible. 

I pray when you walk through pain, you learn to acknowledge your feelings and seek the help you need.

I pray when you walk through heartache, you learn to let go and make room for greater things coming your way. 

I pray when you walk through loss, you learn to be grateful for all you have.

I pray when you walk through frustration, you learn to take breath and be patient with yourself and others. 

And I pray that if you every walk too far away and happen to lose sight of these things, that you learn to walk back home. 

You're not even one year old and you've already learned such valuable lessons. 

You've learned you can do seemingly impossible things all on your own - without me intervening to direct you or even save you from getting little bumps and bruises. While you were clever enough to use your charm to ensue help from others, I still have not taken your hands to help you find your control and walk with you. I have, however, watched you attempt to do it all on your own, laughing (and grunting) at yourself along the way. 

You've learned that you will inevitably fall down on your way to achieving big goals. Sometimes you will hurt badly, and when you do, it is okay to cry and be upset. But then, just like you've already done, you will wipe your tears, refocus your mind, and move forward - even if your steps are unsteady - you move forward. 

You've learned that I will always be there one step behind you- your forever number one fan. 

So, go, my son. Take those steps. Keep your head up and your eyes and heart open. 
Go where your intuition leads you and know you are supported. 
Go fearlessly, walk steadily and bravely, keep moving forward. 

And if there are days that you just don't feel like walking, take a break and look for the good, look for the positive, and look for me. 

The road you walk ahead may take you far from home, but you will always have a safe place to land on my living room floor.