Sunday, July 08, 2007

Gumba Walks!

She started out slow, but then one recent evening, right about the 14-month mark, she steady walked around that turning point that separates the walkers from the crawlers. Gumbo took another six months to walk like this. The darling girl exudes gurgling joy regarding her achievement, happy to walk with me hand in hand, or leg hair in hand, as the case may be. Crawling remains the fallback mode of locomotion, temporarily retaining the edge with regards to speed and stability. I moved my exercise mat outside yesterday afternoon to get away from her interference for a moment, but did not close the screen door well enough, so as a lay down on it she rushed (race-crawled) toward me with all the excitement, velocity, and momentum of a small pit bull. I literally braced for the hit, but in keeping with her style, she stopped about a centimeter from my face, to stare, to loom, and to grin with overwhelming intensity, searching for her father's acknowledgement and response. Her strong personality and drive to communicate keep me amazed much of the time.

She loves the table that the boy eats at, and climbs into one of the little wooden chairs that are too big for her whenever she can. I sat with her at it for a time the other day while she enjoyed a piece of toast. She spontaneously broke the toast and hand me a piece, evoking the deja vu that lonesome altruistic travelers feel as they trek across time immemorial. That girl is good people.

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