I chased my daughter around a shop this afternoon. I watched as she let go of my hand and made a dash for the tills, running behind the counter, before playing peepo in an empty changing room.
It was beautiful.
A week tomorrow my baby girl turns two years old. And it is only now that I am beginning to see her as the toddler she has been for the past six months. The speaking, singing, mischievous toddler. The non-toddling toddler who is no longer of the non-toddling variety.
Every day brings a new step towards freedom. Every day rewards my girl with the promise that she will beat the hypermobile joints and flat feet that have held her back so long. Every day her legs catch up a few paces with her quick mind, proving that dogged determination is the key to happiness and satisfaction.
She’s not sprinting, or hopping, or skipping yet. But she can let go of supportive hands that once kept her upright. She can make a dash, unhindered, to her own choice of playground equipment. For the first time in her life, she doesn’t have to shout “SWING!” to let us know what she wants. She simply walks towards it.
And she has reached this stage with practically no physio and no special boots. Just constant frustration driving her forwards, backed up by cheers of encouragement from everyone who knows her.
I embrace the physio sessions, soon to begin, with a new sense of eagerness. If she can do this without the imminent physio and piedro boots, what will she achieve with them?
I feel positive and excited. I’ve never felt this way before about my child’s physical milestones.
For the first time, I can watch my daughter chasing freedom without my heart breaking. I can watch her chasing freedom, because I know it won’t be long before she finally catches it.