There are moments I’d miss if I wasn’t here.

My daughter crawls towards me, hands and knees driving her forward, her bright eyes looking into mine, a grin plastered on her chubby infant’s face; one exaggerated movement after another, powerful little legs propelling her across the carpet with novel abandon. 

Little spastic movements, recently learned, the purpose behind them clear.

Moments before that, she had rolled to her belly and risen to her hands, her knees, looked around her and her twin sister’s room. Then she made a slow, tentative move towards the door. 

She looked at the door frame, previously unseen from this angle, and at the hallway beyond. She crawled a short measure, then another, peering down the hall then looking back over her shoulder at me. A wide smile and she looked forward again. A short step, another, mild hesitation.

Big blue eyes, seeing the world for the first time.

So I’d done the same and more to show her the way. I got down on my hands and knees and crawled, crawled the hall, then turned and beckoned her to follow. Her eyes never left mine, the wide grin never left her face, as she did the same.   

That’s all it took, to do what she didn’t know.

She makes it down the hall, happy and glowing with encouragement and accomplishment of her greatest adventure yet, swaying back and forth on unsteady arms, ecstatic as I’d ever seen her. Small arms and legs shake her up and down and back and forth, a tiny jitterbug. 

It’s the farthest I’d ever seen her go.

The microwave beeps in the kitchen and she swings her entire body towards the sound, face planting herself into a nearby wall.

I never knew I’d have moments like this.

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