January 3, 2012

Possibly My Favorite Minute of 2011

I have intense blog envy for mommy bloggers that manage to write the narrative of their family life on a daily basis. Every time I read Dear Baby, for example, I'm inspired and super jealous. Anyways, there are a lot of wonderful memories from last year, my first full year as a mother, that are sitting up in my noggin and need to be jotted down somewhere so I don't lose them forever. Here is one that might just be my favorite.

My friend Melinda and I took Savannah to Lido Beach. It was a short trip and I tried to photo-document as much of Savannah's first warm-weather "beach experience" as possible. I often find it hard to live in the moment during these "firsts" because I'm so occupied with normal parenting responsibilities like feeding, nursing and diapering PLUS taking photos, telling Savvy about what we're doing, making sure she experiences the sand and water, etc, etc. (In fact, during this 2-3 hour stint at the beach, I vividly recall not lying down and relaxing one single time--my own fault.) The day could have been stored in my subconscious as a fun day at the beach, but there was one moment in particular that made me stop and feel the gravity of this particular first. It also reminded me to pause sometimes to see life through Savvy's eyes.

Savvy was cruising at this point and able to walk steadily if I held both her hands, so I took her for a walk to the water sans camera while Melinda read a magazine. Usually I had to contribute to her forward momentum by pushing her forward a bit, but as soon as her toes hit the ocean she dashed forward and I had to speed up my pace to keep up. She was practically running! She did not want to stop - she loved the water so much; just wanted to go farther out. I stopped her when she was about thigh deep because I'm a scaredy cat. I was so taken aback by her speed that it hit me: Her desire to run into the unknown was a metaphor for her life. Not even a year old, she had her whole future in front of her just like this vast ocean and she wanted to explore it all. I was so intensely proud of her. She had no fears, nothing holding her back (well, except for me...).

I crouched down behind her and put my hands on her waist. "This is the ocean, Savannah. Do you feel the breeze on your face? Do you hear the waves? Isn't it amazing?" And we stood there.

This photo was taken that afternoon during a different trip to the water. You can see how far we were able to walk out before getting to the waves. My girl ran quite the distance!

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