Erik is crawling. He used to scoot around on his blanket from one end to another, searching out the toys I’d scattered across it for him (although they were only ever an alternative to looking for any charging cords we may have left out.) Now he’s on hands and knees, back and forth from one end of the house to the other and almost as fast as me.
He crawls to the washing machine to watch the bright clothes swishing behind the door. He crawls to the reflective oven door and leans towards himself until he bumps his forehead on the glass. He crawls to the broom and touches the bristles that stick out at odd angles. He crawls to the bedroom and stares at the mirror; opens the door, closes the door, opens, closes. Again.
I love it.
He’s exploring and learning and searching and in all this I get to guide him. We go outside on the warm days and he crawls across the patio from one end to the other, touching the grass and marveling at the texture.
“Grass!” I say, “It will turn bright green in the summer, and you’ll learn to run across it barefoot.”
He picks up dried foliage from last fall.
“Leaves!” I say, “They grow green on the trees in the spring, and then in the fall they turn colors and fall down. We’ll make piles of them and jump into them, and hear them crunch under our feet.” I crumple them in my hand for him, “Crunch!” I say. He crawls back to the other end of the patio.
It is all a marvel to me. He smiles when I help him stand. He stares seriously when we go outside. He grins and giggles when I play crawling games and call him over to me. He is piecing together the world. I am piecing together parenting; stringing together happy moments to balance out the hard ones. We learn together.
That is what most of this life is, after all.