Life’s first steps lead to a lifetime of surprises


I love surprises. I can think of a few over the years that have given me goosebumps:

  • baby-203048_1280The first time Erin rolled over on her side when she was a baby. The look of surprise on her cherub-like face was priceless.
  • The first time Sean slid down the sliding board, he toppled over and instead of breaking out into a cry, he burst into the biggest belly laugh.
  • Stephen took his first steps and raised his arms up in excitement like he had just scored the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl.

When your kids are speaking, walking or running for the first time, there’s a moment of surprise and shock. You come to expect something new every day. It’s a wonderful time.

With one kid in college, another driving with a learner’s permit, and another in middle school, I thought most of those moments were over, but I’ve noticed lately they keep happening . . . just a bit differently than I ever expected.

For example, here’s what happened the other day:

  • Erin called to say that she set up an appointment and got her flu shot. No prodding. No nagging. She just did it on her own. When did my daughter, become an adult? What’s next? Filling up the car with gas and paying for it on her own without being asked? Scheduling her annual physical?
  • I’m driving Sean to school and he looked tired. I asked if he got much sleep. My first thought was that we should consider taking away his X-box. “No I was up to midnight, studying for my History and Psychology tests,” he said. My tongue-tied response: “Oh.” Again not what I was expecting.
  • Later in the evening, I sat in the audience waiting for Stephen’s Jazz Band concert. I knew Stephen had been practicing his trumpet regularly, but I still was not looking forward to the concert. The lights dimmed. Stephen’s group came on stage. I closed my eyes . . . and it sounded really, really good. In fact, it sounded great.

My children are well past their first steps, but I’m finding the excitement for them and me is still very fresh and real.

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