Monday, February 7, 2011

Little Feet

There were these little feet. 15 weeks in, they were there. Little bumps, little flutters, little indications... these little feet slowly turned into bubbles and dragging and then real, identifiable kicks. By 18 weeks, I knew all about Jack's feet.

Because as much as Jack's feet loved to kick me, I loved them right back. Jack's feet were all I knew of him. I would play with my baby all day, running my fingers across my belly as if to tickle him, and if he was awake, he'd tell me he heard.

Jack's little feet. They made me so happy. No matter the time. No matter the level of discomfort. No matter my degree of exhaustion. I loved feeling Jack kick. I reveled in my growing child.

Jack kicked like no other baby I've heard of, both in strength and in frequency. On two separate occasions, I had a nurse jump away from me in surprise when Jack threw a particular emphatic limb their way. One said "Holy cow!" and the other said "Holy moly!". I was due for weekly nonstress tests near the end of my pregnancy, and I had to come back on more than one occasion: even in a 40 minute monitoring session, Jack would not stop kicking for long enough for them to make the measurement. Jack made the doctors laugh even before he was born.

The truth is, even in utero, I felt proud of my son. I felt that he was strong, It thrilled me to know that he was active, exploring, testing, moving. From the start, Jack pushed at the boundary of his world, and that world was entirely, completely, totally... me.

And now Jack's world is expanding. Day by day, he sees more, he understands more... and he moves more.

Jack's little feet. Now they push onto the floor. They propel him forward, into space. They help him get to where he wants to go... on his own. It's the sort of thing that could make a mom cry.

But I'm not crying about this.I am simply bursting with unexpected and overwhelming pride. I am exchanging silly grin after silly grin with my husband: "Did you see that?!" I'm cheering Jack on, his biggest fan, eyes trained over every little inch of path that he traverses. I am glowing in my excitement. Oh he crawls over to the gate at daycare, does he? The importance of this knowledge, this special behavior... it may just overwhelm me. One leg, one arm, and another and another. Limb over limb and Jack gets to where he wants to be.

Such determination. Don't let that feeling go.

Such sudden liberation. Enjoy, just enjoy.

Such a world for you to explore. Keep going.

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