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“You can do it Adam! Come on!”

After Adam’s first birthday, Brandon wondered why Adam wasn’t walking yet. “But, he walks along the furniture!” Brandon would say. True, he was cruising, and we knew he would let go soon enough. “Cruising is when you still hold on, Brandon. Walking is when you let go, like a big kid. Soon.”

No sooner did I clear up the matter than Adam took his first few wobbly steps a day or 2 later, letting go of the ottoman. “Like that Daddy?” Brandon asked. “Yes! Like that!” we exclaimed. And so it started. Two or 3 steps at a time. And Adam’s biggest cheerleader was Brandon. “Daddy! Daddy! He just took 3 1/2 steps! Did you see? Come look! Good job Adam! Do it again!” He kept cheering.

When you become a parent, people tell you to savor the moments because they go fast. And yet when you’re in those moments, they seem to last forever until you look back later and realize how quickly everything occurred. But in just 2 weeks, Adam went from cruising to 2 or 3 steps to about 8-10 steps. And while I distinctly remember watching Brandon learn to walk, somehow I find myself even more enamored watching Adam. Maybe it’s the smile of satisfaction he gets each time he walks successfully or the cheering squad, but the way he walks across the room just to get to me (and then whines until I pick him up) lets time melt away.

Just a few days after Adam graduated from those 8-10 steps, I turned around to see him standing up from sitting on the floor. He no longer needed the furniture as a launchpad. The next day, he further tried to emulate his big brother by climbing onto the ottoman by himself. He was so proud when he reached the top of what must have seemed like a mountain, while my wife and I were stunned by the sheer anxiety of watching him do it, though we still tried to appreciate the moment.

But he is a very determined toddler, so instead of the “No, stop! Get down from there!” response from Mom and Dad, followed by a little echo from Brandon also saying “No” (to which we reminded him that we are the parents), we realized we had no recourse but to let him attempt the climb and then teach him how to dismount safely. So up he went, and the grin of accomplishment lit up the room.

As a family, we all get to sit and enjoy these moments together, encouraging Adam to walk and explore. As parents, Sarah and I watch the bond between brothers grow daily as Adam loves to emulate his big brother and, at the same time, Brandon loves to hug, kiss and chase him. Adam laughs at the silly things Brandon says and does (but doesn’t laugh nearly as much at the things Mommy and Daddy do).

As a dad, I see Adam stumble over to the window to wave at me when I return home. And at bedtime, I watch Adam walk towards his brother, getting the biggest smile on his face when Brandon gives him a hug and kiss goodnight. Brandon won’t let him leave to go upstairs until Adam does the same.

So now one toddles around and the other runs. Soon they will both be running. But while they grow before our eyes, we do our best to slow everything down and savor it all. Because with the pace of the world and the loss we experienced this year with the passing of my dad, being in the moment is more important than ever.

Adam’s progress has been incredibly quick over these few weeks, but being able to appreciate it day after day has allowed me to feel like it has been slow. And that’s just what we need. Slow down. See the moment. Before it runs away.

Read more Making Time here.

May 2021
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