I watched him as he placed his two small hands on the floor and supported himself to stand up. He smiled at his mum as she stretched out her hands, calling his name, cheering him on so he could walk towards her. He tried to balance on his feeble legs and then he carefully took a small step forward. His mother kept cheering him as she moved backwards with her hands still stretched. He smiled again at her and cackled as he tried to take the second step, but alas he lost his balance. His mum rushed forward and he fell into her hands and she carried him up playfully and tickled him.
‘When are you going to start walking?’ she teased him playfully.
My wife and son had both been practicing on how he would start walking. He was going to clock one in a few weeks’ time. Sometimes I joined them to encourage him when he stood up to balance and tried to take the first steps and at other times, I just watched him in earnest as he fell several times and did not hesitate to stand up and try again. He did not look worried or sad or dejected when he fell on his bottom. He did not cry or wait a long time before he tried again. Sometimes, I looked at his clear, beautiful eyes and I wanted to ask him so many questions. I wanted to ask him where he got his strength to stand up and try again. I wanted to ask him how he looked so happy even when he fell. I wish I had his strength, I wish I had his resilience, I wish I had his smile even when things did not seem so good. My son did not answer my questions, he just smiled at me. But then I think his smile had all the answers. That even if sometimes life was hard, in the end, everything is going to be alright.
‘That’s my boy, come on you can do it’, we all cheered as my son took his first steps on the 12th day in January. He smiled happily as his mum grabbed him when he almost tripped on his 5th step. We were both so proud of him. It was indeed a joyous moment and now when I call his mom and ask how he is doing as regards his walking. She says proudly that our son now walks confidently as if he never failed at it. I smile with happiness as I realize the great lesson my son taught me… NEVER GIVE UP.