I love watching Jim walk. It is a beautiful, funny, and - when he’s near sharp edges of furniture - horrifying sight to behold. There is no grace to his movement at all. It is a halting, stop-and-go lumber. Each step could land safely on the ground or send him sprawling to the floor, in which case he’ll start crawling immediately as if he meant to do that all along. With his arm’s held forward, he often looks like a two-and-a-half foot Frankenstein.
The best part about it is he seems so excited up on his feet. It is like he can’t believe he gets the opportunity to be walking around like the rest of us. He takes advantage of his newfound freedom as much as possible. He’s an explorer. He wants to go everywhere. Whether I’m at home or at the office, I typically hear his plodding footsteps and his commentary of squeals, syllables, and grunts.
Watching Jim walk reminds me of how often the beginnings of stages in life are often that combination of awkward stumbling and sheer delight. If you went back to your first attempts at catching a baseball or your first stabs at romance, you’d likely cover your face in embarrassment. Yet within those unsure beginnings is an earnestness that is rarely replicated later on. Those moments when things click, you can scarcely believe that this is really happening to you.
So as I watch Jim lumber along, I want to savor this moment. It won’t be too long before he is surefootedly running through the house, which will be beautiful, funny, and horrifying in its own special way. And as I watch him stumble, fall, and keep going, I want to be challenged. I often avoid new things because I’m worried about that awkward beginning stage. Yet I’m learning that if I keep pressing on, there is some undeniable joy in whatever Frankenstein walk I find myself.