It’s been a big week in the Clark household! Lilly wore her first pair of jeans yesterday, which may not seem like a big deal but knowing how much I love baby clothes--girl baby clothes in particular--this was a big milestone. I have looked to my Mum for a lot of advice this past year in raising Lilly. In all of our discussions, one of the biggest aspects of parenting that I have taken away from Mum is that babies are babies for such a short time. They have their whole lives to wear jeans and shoes, and only a few months to wear baby gowns and little fuzzy onesies. So I have resisted putting Lilly in “grown up” clothes, shrunk down to adorable baby sizes. She has worn comfy clothes, because let’s face it—jeans are not exactly the most comfortable clothes. Anyway, yesterday I decided that this pair of jeans, that a friend gave her, is so cute and it was time to try them on. As I do so many times around Lilly, all I could do was laugh. They are actually really soft and comfy; I think they’re more like sweatpants than jeans. I bet Ellie would love them; I wonder if they make them in adult sizes? But they have the cutest little elastic waist that I had to tighten all the way and the jeans were still too big! Of course, I took a picture of Lilly’s first jeans.
While the jeans were exiting, the bigger news this week is that we have a little walker in the family! Lilly has been taking steps for a few weeks, a couple at a time. These happened mostly when Jim and I were sitting a few feet apart, starting her off and getting her to walk the rest of the way. She has been a confident little stander for a while, taking both hands off whatever she was holding and just standing there. As my dad put it, she looked like she’s was standing in an earthquake zone. Whenever she wanted a toy or to get somewhere fast, crawling was still her preferred transportation method. Last night, however, Lilly started walking to things, and this morning, she has been walking everywhere! She starts off sitting down, and then stands herself up. It looks SO difficult and her little legs start shaking. I associate it with coming up from a squat, which is what she looks like she’s doing. As she is the first baby that I have seen learn to walk, I’m not sure if this is how it is always done, but it seems a rather difficult task if you ask me. She has been able to walk to her toys, or the computer (shocker!), but she is still not quite sure what to do when she gets there. She has not yet mastered the task of falling gracefully, so I have a feeling that there are going to be some bumps and bruises in our future. She walks waving her little arms in the air. Edward saw her do this on Skype the other day and aptly described her as walking like a zombie. I am trying to capture these steps on video but every time she starts walking I get so excited and forget to get the camera. When I try and get her to walk when I have the camera out, Lilly sees the camera, gets excited, drops to all fours and starts her “sprint crawl” to try and grab the camera out of my hands. That is the reason that all our videos and many of our photos of Lilly end with an extreme close up of her face or her hands; she just can’t leave the camera alone!
It has been so amazing to watch all these developmental milestones over the past year. Watching Lilly take her first steps was one of those moments that Jim and I were able to witness together. We looked at each other and just shook our heads in disbelief. This time last year, this little person wasn’t yet a part of our lives and now, she is so much a part of our lives that we can’t remember what life was like without her. I think as a parent, I am beginning to truly understand what people mean by “time flying.” It is such a common expression used by everyone. I always thought things went by fast; summer vacation was always too short; family holidays always end too soon; experiences that I really loved seem to be over before they really began. That is how it has been for me this past year, and I am sure it will only seem faster moving forward.
It’s amazing when you think about how this little person came into the world. When we first found out that I was pregnant, Jim and I were excited. We wanted to be parents and couldn’t wait to enter the next phase of our lives. But a woman is pregnant for nine months for a reason. It is such an emotional rollercoaster (although I am confident that I was level-headed and rational throughout; just ask Jim). Those nine months allow you to prepare for the road ahead. I had moments of doubt, where I knew that even though I would love this little baby, I loved the relationship that Jim and I had. We always had so much fun together, just the two of us, and I would go through times where I couldn’t possibly understand how a baby would make our lives better. Mum and Dad would provide words of encouragement that only parents can, and then would end a conversation saying something like, “well, it’s a little late for those thoughts; there’s not much you can do about it now.” Such helpful parental advice that always did what it was intended to do—put a smile on my face. Around the same time when I started feeling this uncertainty, my stomach began growing at what seemed like an exponential rate. While I loved being pregnant, I began to feel so ready to have that baby. I was finished carrying her around. My back wanted those extra pounds gone and I began getting excited for the big day. And of course, I wouldn’t change a thing. Lilly has only made our lives better. She has brought Jim and me more love than we knew was possible and has strengthened our relationship with each other. Just as everything happened at the right time during those nine months, all of Lilly’s developmental milestones this year were timed perfectly. When I am starting to get sad that our little Lilly is about to be one, she does something amazing and starts walking. I can only smile in amazement as I watch her learn to walk. There’s no room for sadness. Besides, there’s not much I can do to slow time down so I might as well enjoy it. She's going to driving in no time.