My youngest child is three. I don’t remember her crawling. Actually, none of the children crawled for very long. People always commented that they were “getting out of the way for the next one.” (They were always wrong.) I always assumed that the hardwood floors in our house didn’t feel so great on their knees, so they found more comfortable ways to navigate our home. But now, as I contemplate another set of “first steps”, I think that maybe they didn’t like the view as much.
Crawling on all fours means you can’t see much past arms length. All you can see is what’s right in front of you. It’s what I imagine depression feels like. Only being able to see what’s directly in front of you, and even that is just beyond reach. What a frustrating position to be in, and yet it is a posture we are all familiar with.
Standing on your own two feet takes much practice, and more strength and coordination than many of us have, but the change in perspective is well worth it. The room takes on a whole new shape. The crumbs on the floor seem way less important and enticing when you can see the food being set at the table.
I remember putting my big girl in her walker at an outdoor event for the first time. The child went nuts. She took off running towards a cliff. There were three adults calling her name and chasing her down. We barely caught her in time.
My prayer is that I attack my first few baby steps with that same sort of reckless abandon. I expect to bump my head a few times, and to experience bumps and bruises along the way. But I also hope to see more than I ever have before. I expect to build up strength in muscles I’ve never had to use before… and before long I hope to take off running.
In the meantime, if you see me drop to all fours, do me a favor. Pull me up. Let me grab hold of your fingers, and lead me around a bit until you feel like i’m Strong enough to let go.