The First Step

It’s another mundane day. Then, you chortle. Aha!  You’re here. Oh, the day gets better. Your presence lifts the banality of the room, sprinkling happiness. Through the open window, the fragrant garden scents waft in. Usually, you make a beeline for the French windows but today you seem distracted. What is going on in your brain? What mischief do you contemplate?

Hmm…got it!  Ha…ha. You show me ‘what’ as you attempt to stand and take your first steps. 

Your mother rejoices. “Oh, my God, the first step. Harish, come quickly. Baby’s going to walk. Come…fast.” Your father is summoned. After all, this is a milestone, a momentous one.

Your mother’s frantic joy is evident as she searches for her phone to record this act. It is a capture worthy moment.

Mobile in hand, your mother squats, speaking to you, encouraging you and cajoling you.  “C’mon baby, C’mon my sweetie, come to mamma. Yes, that’s right. C’mon…take a step.” You look at her and cackle toothlessly before subsiding into gurgles. “Ba…wa…ga….ga.” Spittle dribbles from your mouth. Ooooh! How adorable you look with your rosy cheeks.       

Then, you refocus on your task. You hold on to the chair’s leg. Your face scrunches up with the effort to hoist yourself up. It is difficult but… ah yes; we have lift off, a clean one. Well done baby! You stand on your own, for the first time. Your mother exults. 

Balancing yourself, you turn your body around, flailing the free arm as you babble again in excitement, “ga…ga…ya…ba…” God! You look so cute.  Your tiny ‘pampered’ butt squiggles on your imbalanced pudgy legs. Awww! Your mother sighs, misty-eyed. 

Then you try to turn and… Oh no! Watch it! You sway. Your mother’s instinct kicks in; she steadies you before you topple. Phew! Saved! Oblivious, you jabber away at her touch. You spout absolute gibberish but she laughs in delight. Oh baby! Do you know not how much I want to hug you? But my hands…

Your father rushes in with video recorder in hand, “Hey baby, hey sweetie…smile…smile for daddy. Yes, that’s right…oooh, yessss…like that.” 

And then without preamble, maybe buoyed by your own excitement, you let go and totter on your first independent step. Awww! You look so cute with your squirming derrière wriggling to balance. Your mother looks at me, smiling.  

You lift your arms, squealing in joy, waving them up and down. Your happy shrieks echo in the room same as my heartbeat. Then, you take another step and dodder. Your mother’s heart lurches. Oh, be careful. She foresees what is coming. She reaches out but you elude her grasp and topple, landing on your cute squishy tushy.  More alarmed than hurt, you look at your mamma and, “Waaaaaah.” 

Your mamma scoops you up, cooing to distract you.

Tsk. Tsk. Did that hurt? There, there…don’t cry. Your mamma will chase away all boo-boo’s. You are safe now. It’s just the start. After all, tomorrow is another day.

Tick-tock…tick-tock…tick-tock. 

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Sonal Singh

Sonal Singh is the Founder/Director of a manpower search firm called Rian Placements. She dabbles in travel and writing. She believes that life is a repertoire of anecdotes strung together in a colourful array, like a beaded necklace. The various situations that we encounter, the many incidents of every day, make life a melange of tales and conversational tidbits. And, this is what she attempts to capture through her writing.

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