Jar usually picks up Gilly from daycare, but last Tuesday he had an after-work event, so it was my turn to do the honors. Daycare closes at 6, which means I need to leave the office at 5 in order to comfortably make it there on time—and in magazine publishing, this is no easy feat. Then the subway kept slowing down between every stop, and by the time I got to our neighborhood I knew I was going to have to sprint—in patent leather heels no less—in order to avoid paying the dreaded late charge and keep the hard-working teachers from hating me. It was a total cliché “working mom” moment: Me checking my watch every few paces as I frantically darted around fellow pedestrians, cell phone and leather bag in hand.
When I finally got there, breathless and schvitzing, Miss R informed me that Gilly was such a good girl as always, and that she wished all babies could be like her! Music to my ears! But then she said “And she’s doing so great with her steps!” I started to get nervous that she was going to tell me that Gilly was “officially” walking, and that I totally missed it. I said, “Yeah, she’s taking steps here and there,” to which she replied, “That’s right. I think she’ll be walking within a week.” Phew. Sigh of relief that I didn’t miss the big event. She could have just been saying that to make me feel better, but she was pretty believable.
Anyway, I brought Gilly home, fed her dinner, gave her a bath, put her monkey PJs on, and got down on the floor with her to play. I went in to the kitchen to put something in the sink and when I came back, she started walking towards me! I quickly grabbed my camera and captured the milestone while staying as calm as possible so that she wouldn’t get scared and stop, using my cell phone to bait her. I was so proud of her and I KNEW—while it was happening—that it was one of those moments that would stay inked in my mind forever, like when I saw Jar standing at the altar on our wedding day, or when I saw Gilly’s beautiful hands for the first time.
Part of me was sad that Jar wasn’t home to witness it, but another part of me was admittedly a little glad that it was just us two—Mommy and Gilly—because it reminded me of when I carried her inside me. My working mom guilt was assuaged for a moment as I saw those chunky little feet make their way across the floor, a look of elated determination on her face. It turns out Jar didn’t mind that he missed it anyway, thanks to the video documentation and plenty of other opportunities to see her walk. While I would have been jealous if the situation were reversed, he simply said, “I’m so glad you got to see it, hon,” with a huge smile on his face...proving once again that I'm far more of a tool than him. :-)
Oh, and just for posterity's sake, the above event took place on Tuesday, October 26—three days before Gilly's 10-month birthday. And also for posterity's sake? She's a 4 and a 1/2 wide width in walking shoes according to the measurement taken below, meaning that she "follows in the footsteps" of my wide-footed family. An honorable legacy, indeed.