Ella has had two huge milestones recently: her first steps and her first birthday. My head is still reeling from all of it.
Last Monday, I was home with her, and we were both nursing a miserable cold/sinus infection/creeping crud. We hadn't showered and had spent most of the day on the floor of the den in the basement. The den has the big TV as well as most of Ella's toys scattered all over the floor, plus a huge comfy leather chair and a sofa. It's where we spend most of our free time.
That rainy afternoon, Ella was playing on the floor with her blocks, books, and noisy toys, and I was propped up against the coffee table playing with her. She pulled herself up on a large wooden block toy (kind of like the toys in the doctor's office with the wires and beads), looked at me, smiled, and walked straight towards me! It was about five steps, all by herself, and she was so proud! I grabbed her, pulled her onto my lap, and gave her a huge hug, fighting back the tears of joy in my eyes. It's just about the only time when I've been happy to be sick -- perhaps I wouldn't have gotten to see her first steps otherwise!
Since then, she's gradually grown more confident in her walking, taking steps more frequently. But nothing will ever compare to the sheer joy that we both experienced, together, despite how crummy we were feeling on that rainy Monday in the den.
On Thursday, Ella celebrated her first birthday. Her grandparents flew up from Florida, and we had a party with a few friends on Saturday. (Can you believe one of our friends gave her baby Ugg boots? I didn't know there was such a thing.) We gave her a small piece of cake, which she managed to smear all over herself, the high chair, and Mommy. The highchair had to be completely taken apart and washed, and I threw Ella in the bathtub, too.
While it was fun to reminisce about her birth, and to enjoy family and friends, the most important moment for me last week was that moment on the floor of the den, hugging my little girl, celebrating her first steps with her. It was a moment just for us, to be a part of us always.
Peyton is Mommy to Ella, born October 2004, and wife to Colin. She lives outside of D.C. in Falls Church, Virginia.