He started walking on Sunday after church. He seemed to have no desire to walk without holding on to something or someone even if it was just a finger.
But when we got home from church, I stood him on the floor 2 feet in front of me and reached out for him. He walked right to me. I couldn't believe it. I barely remembered the pediatrician's advice not to react to avoid distracting or scaring him because I just wasn't expecting him to just walk right over to me like he did. But he did...grinning the whole 5 steps. He probably took about 12 steps that evening.
Then the next morning he walked to the carpet at daycare after I took off his coat. His teacher couldn't believe it. She was both happy and sad as walking was his last task to begin before moving to the 1 year-old class. The daycare director told me 2 weeks before Christmas that they wanted to move him right after the Christmas break on January 3rd. I wanted more time to prepare him. At that point he had just weaned off the breast, was still taking formula from a bottle and couldn't take it cold, was still on baby food and of course was not walking. In the 1 year-old room, they eat table food, drink whole milk cold from sippy cups and most of them walk. I told them I would work to get him ready as I understood he'd be 1 a week after the break and they had a wait list of babies. Elijah was one of several that would be moving. Plus, they'd be holding a spot for him in the 1 year-old room.
He accomplished a lot. I started mixing whole milk with his formula and giving more cups than bottles and by Christmas, he was down to 1 bottle a day, that he took before bed and eating quite a bit of table food. By New Year's, he was on the whole milk and eating table food for lunch and dinner. Missed a week with his ear infection right after his birthday, but I kept him on his new routine. He eventually progressed to taking the milk cold a few days ago.
Then he walked. When I went to pick him up yesterday afternoon, they'd taken him over to the 1 year-old room for a visit and he was happy, playing with some of his older friends who had moved over after the break.
He walked a bit more that afternoon. I'm proud of him. He's accomplished a lot and he did really well at his checkup on Thursday. I'm beginning to think there'll be bitter with a lot of sweet moments. I thought of his father. I will likely think of him at every significant milestone. So many of those ahead. *sigh*
My daughter is growing into a little beauty. She's an honor roll student, a loving little girl and amonth other things, the cutest little cheerleader...*sigh*
He's missing it all. I'll never know why my husband went when he did, leaving among other things and people, four children and me with, both of these tiny children. There were other times before I had our son that I thought I might lose him, though I never said so. He almost had me convinced he would just keep on going. I can only hope it was for the best and I can say, I like my life with the children. Still at times, I have a bittersweet moment looking at them knowing he cannot. I bust my behind to give them a home and a life where they can thrive and be happy, and I lament, their father can't see them. I watch boys at various tourist attractions yelling "Daddy look at this" and realize I won't get to hear my son say that.
God is a healer though. I'm feeling better about myself than I have in years and dressing and carrying myself the way Thomas actually wanted me to, but I think often of how he isn't here to see it. But he suffered so and the effect on me emotionally came out in my natural appearance and in my actions, reactions and non-actions. I didn't want to be pretty anymore. I didn't care if I was because this thing had taken over our relationship. It had taken the bright light I married long ago and taken a lot of me with it. Sure wish things had gone differently. I miss Thomas. I miss him everyday. I still look at the door and shake my head at the knowledge he isn't coming back. Actually a little more now than a few months ago, but I have a good life with the children built on the foundation he left. And I'm genuinely excited about our future.
But I realize there are some days coming. On top of just having gone through Elijah's birthday on January 9th, what would have been our 11th wedding anniversary is next month on February 20th. It's the first one since his death. He died 17 days after the last one. The 1st anniversary of his death is the next month on March 9th. Ariana's birthday is the next month on April 28th-her second one since his passing.
It's just an exciting time in both children's lives and it's not easy to keep up with it all, that's for sure. And there's no dad here...or across town...or across the state...or across the country...or on the other side of the world.
I think I'm kind of wearied at the moment of our accomplishments being sprinkled with sadness. But I guess I have to take it all in the mixed bag it comes in each day and be thankful I'm here to feel it.