Last Saturday, we travelled to a neighbouring city for a folk festival. The rain came pouring down en route, but we persevered in the hopes that it would clear up when we arrived. It did.
The festival is located on a lush conservation park amidst beautiful trees and surrounded by lakes. As we walked the road from the parking lot to the front gates (our stroller not fitting on the shuttle bus), I grew more and more excited. I love concerts, and I especially love festivals like this one. This annual weekend event has workshops, children's activities, organic local food, free water, and three stages of live music throughout the day. We barely touched the surface of all there was to do.
Shortly after we arrived, we found the drumming tent. Imagine 15-20 people banging on various sizes and shapes of hand drums in unison. We stayed for an hour. He was in awe. I felt privileged to be there to witness it.
Next to the drumming tent was a open grassy area. Next to the clumping of people smoking various substances and with the sound of live music in the background, my boy stretched his legs and walked around holding his Daddy's hand. Then all at once, he let go, and walked his way to independence.
To be honest, I don't really remember the first time. He has walked a few steps unassisted several times in the past, but I hesistated in declaring that he started walking until he was doing so consistently. Well, on Saturday he did. He walked that grass on his own maybe 3 or 4 times. Each time, my husband had to "launch" him by walking with him for a bit and then letting go, but unlike so many times in the past, he didn't sit down and he continued walking with a huge smile on his face demonstrating his pure delight. I was able to get a video of one of his jaunts, and I'm so pleased that I did.
Of course, the next day he didn't repeat his performance, nor did he for much of the remainder of the week. But yesterday, when I picked him up after work, he nonchalently turned from the toy that he was using and walked to something on the other side of the room. My eyes welled up with tears and I put my hand over my mouth to keep myself from making a fuss. He repeated it a few minutes later. When we got home, after his before bed pottying, I suggested to him that he meet me at the change table since I had been sitting on the floor reading him stories. He walked right over (and then passed the change table to head towards the laundry hamper). He walked a few more times today.
Of course, he crawls like a speed demon so when he is in a hurry, he doesn't have the patience for the slow gait of his walk.
My baby has turned into a toddler at the ripe age of 19 months. And I am so proud of him.