Kyle was a late walker. He crawled on schedule, and when he got mobile, there was no stopping him. He was fast! He couldn't be bothered to do things that other toddlers did, such as pulling up on things or even trying to stand. He had places to go -- toilet paper to unroll!
The doctor always assured me, "Don't rush him. It's safer now." By the time he was 14 or 15 months old, he had joined the ranks of those of us who get around on two feet. The doctor was right -- other than fielding the innocent questions of relatives and grocery store cashiers about whether or not he was walking, there was no rush.
This week Amanda took a big step. Yesterday we dropped her off for a week of sleepaway camp. She wanted to go last year, but this year we knew that the time was finally right. Another friend's daughters were interested in going too (taking baby steps with support from friends -- both mine and hers -- is always a good plan), so we found a Christian girls' camp and signed them up.
Just like when Kyle discovered the joys that crawling around brought him, Amanda has been beyond excited. But unlike Kyle, I've seen her strengthening those legs as she takes those steps that will eventually take .
For example, this summer she's done some chores without being asked. She's been taking care of certain things that I used to have to beg her to do -- personal care that she will have to do at camp without someone nagging her. She even told me that she was ready to pack without assuming that the packing fairy would take care of it (she still believes in the laundry fairy though).
My friend and I were standing in the line to begin the check-in progress while our three tweens took it all in -- grinning, excited, and a little nervous. "I can't believe that I'm going to be here a whole week -- alone with no one I'm related to! I've never done that before," Amanda exclaimed, with no anxiety lacing her anticipation.
She's going to have a good week.
She's already changed some as she realizes that she's growing up and that I trust her with some independence. I can't wait to see how else this experience changes her. And maybe it will change her mom as well.