The Long Walk

There are some moments in parenting that seem to pass so quickly. 1st birthday celebrations, kindergarten, and high school graduation seem to happen in the blink an eye. There are also moments that seem to last forever, like following 2 year old Baby J up the stairs. This is how it usually goes: I stand patiently while he holds onto the rail with one hand, holds mine with the other, and together we ascend. Step by ever loving step. He heaves a wobbly leg up to the next step and then brings the other to stand beside it. And he talks. He calls to Daddy, his sister, and his brother. He sings. He points to things. He repeats things I say, and he creates his own words. This goes on for a very VERY long time.

Finally, we reach the top. Sometimes he sighs as the satisfaction from working so hard passes over him. Something that I do without even thinking about requires every ounce of motor planning, balance, coordination, and strength his round little body can muster. And I am honored to take this long walk with him. I’m honored because it’s critical to the development of his brain, his body, and his spirit. I’m honored because I’ve been chosen to be the one to hold his hand while all those moving parts work together and to witness the elation at the top when he gets it all right. It never ever gets old.

It’s what makes our little ones so special. They HAVE to move slowly up the steps. They HAVE to stop and watch the birds. They HAVE to pick up the doodlebugs. They HAVE to build the tower again and again. They are literally constructing themselves through each (long) moment, and we are watching them come to life and discover the world.

How lucky are we that we get to witness each and every one of those moments. How lucky indeed.

Find the joy,

Jessica McCauley, M.Ed. is a parenting coach/consultant. She draws on her background as a Montessori educator and Child Life Specialist to help families navigate the challenges of the early childhood years. Contact Jessica at for more information or to schedule a consultation.