This is my son, taken on Sunday of last week. He is up on his hands and knees. Last week, this was a new and amazing accomplishment. Today, it is a thing of the past, outshone by a newer, more exciting adventure. Today, Noah started to crawl.
He's never content to sit still now. Noah never misses a chance to use his newly discovered abilities. Leave him for a second, and he will roll over and get his knees under him so he can scooch away. Especially during diaper changes. Sticking his naked little bum in the air. He is so proud of himself. You can see it in his smile, in his eyes.
Before this week, I knew that if I put Noah down in a safe environment with a diameter of approximately 5 feet, everything would be fine. He would his darnedest to get to off-limits objects--computer cords, my slippers, pens, a wicker basket--and he couldn't do it. I knew that if I kept it a few yards away, there was no way he could get it. Noah was safe, and so was our stuff. Not anymore. Today, he had that cord in seconds. Nothing is too far away for him now.
This morning, I was excited and proud to see his first real forays about the house. Tonight, I am somewhere between bittersweet and melancholy. The more I think about it, the more I realize that this is the first of many mobility developments. Crawling is the first step. Next, it's walking. Then, it's going by himself to play at a friend's house. His first teenage dance. His first date. His first solo trip to the grocery store. Serving a mission. College.
With every new mobility skill aquired, he doesn't just learn to move around more by himself--he moves farther and farther away from me, away from Tyler. Into greater circles of danger. Right now, I'm concerned about finding a sturdy baby gate, moving the furniture to cleverly conceal thev ever-enticing cords, and putting covers in all the outlets. In a few years, these dangers will be completely irrelevant as new harms step in. The older and more mobile he gets, the more danger surrounds him. And the less I'll be there to protect him. Mostly because he won't need me there to protect him like he needs me now. And partly because I just can't (and shouldn't) control all aspects of his safety forever.
I suppose I'm really mourning the fact that he can't always just be my baby. That's a good thing in a lot of ways. I'm so excited for the years and adventures to come, even with all those stages of slowly flying the nest. But it also hurts, in a way that's right in between bittersweet and melancholy.