The Baby Steps Are The Big Steps

The baby steps are really the big steps.

My son stood in the sand—something not even that new to him—for quite some time.
From the outside, it didn’t look like he was doing much,
but on the inside, I knew that was far from the truth.

His eyes were observant,
his gaze determined.
His posture was deliberate,
his stance resolved.
His body was still,
his energy was swirling.

I watched from the side,
and this time,
I watched with silence.
I wondered, though:
What is he thinking?
What will he do?
How does he feel?

And, next, I reflected on my own life
and thought about the future of his;

surely there will be many more times
he’ll find himself in a similar scenario—
standing still, looking intently,
unmoving yet unwavering…
in focus, in thought, in awareness…
in solitude on the brink of
something new, something different,
something undone, unknown, unfelt.

Surely there will be many more times
he’ll be encountered with similar feels—
sometimes fear, sometimes caution, sometimes curiosity…
other times nervousness, self-doubt, insecurity.

Surely there will be many more times
he’ll have to again make a choice—
to stand still,
to retreat,
to take a step.

I returned my focus to him and watched.

He first moved one toe. 
Next, he moved one foot.
And then, he took a full step.

A baby step
that led to another baby step
that led to a stomp
that led to him digging his own toes into the sand
that led to pulling them out and laughing
in wonderment.

His eyes never came off of his toes in the sand.
His smile never came off of his gleaming, little face.
He simply was reveling in his own achievement.
He was enjoying his own adventure.
He was living his own life—
and nothing else mattered.

I will never truly know what was going on in his mind
in those moments in the sand,
but when he did eventually lift up his head
and his smiling eyes met mine,

I felt proud of him,
and inspired by him.

And just like that
his set out upon his next venture—
a sand dune to climb. 

I watched from the side,
but this time,
I said:

Take another baby step, my love,
and take your time.
Take all the time you need.
Stay present and in the moment,
like you just did,
and you will always find your way—

no matter your age or your size,
no matter your path or your destination.

And one day, you’ll understand that, in life,
those baby steps are really the big steps.

But, more importantly, they are your steps—
the steps that will make up your perfectly unique and uncharted life.