When my daughter was learning to walk, I would hover near-ready to catch her if she fell.
I covered sharp corners or moved furniture so that the chance of injury was minimized. I clapped and cooed each time she made a little progress-pulling up, cruising around the edge of the sofa and coffee table-those tentative moments when she was brave enough to let go and then plop on her bottom.
And finally, when she made her first unassisted steps between the security of holding on and my waiting arms.
It was a judgement free zone.
I wasn’t looking for technical perfection or measuring progress according to any external metric.
I didn’t rush the process. I couldn’t do it for her. I could only support her own efforts toward the goal we both had in our hearts. I never despised her baby steps.
They were a beginning.
And everything has a beginning.
When Dominic ran ahead to heaven, I felt like I was physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually knocked to the floor. I had no idea how I was going to make a life after this great blow. I could barely get dressed, much less do anything that took more thought or energy than that.
I was overwhelmed. I had to learn to walk all over again.
And I did it with baby steps, in a judgement free-zone I created for myself where I refused to gauge my progress against anyone else’s.
Because baby steps count.
Here are some of the baby steps I’ve taken and am still taking:
- Got up, got dressed, bought groceries.
- Cooked dinner.
- Cleaned the bathrooms.
- Went to church.
- Remembered a birthday and sent a card.
- Drove to an unfamiliar place to meet someone for lunch.
- Made phone calls.
- Went to work.
- Slept through a whole night.
- Organized a party.
- Showed up to graduations, a couple funerals and a wedding.
- Kept doctor’s appointments.
I have yet to hit my stride and I don’t think running is in my near future, but I am moving forward. I’m making progress. I don’t have to meet a timetable or get anyone else’s approval.
It’s my journey.
And baby steps count. ❤