Do you remember your first steps? Or the first steps of your children?
Born in 1959, my first steps, my baby steps, weren’t “filmed”. The 8mm camera was safely put away in a closet and only came out on special occasions. Our home movies captured other milestones such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, christenings, graduations, holidays, and family vacations at the lake. That film was then brought to the local drugstore and sent out to be “processed”, which took a week or longer. You went home with your claim ticket in hand, and waited. The day came, and you’d run to the drug store to claim your memories, your moments.
To watch those movies, we had to dig out the projector screen, set it up, reach high onto the shelf of the closet, and pull out the old Bell & Howell projector, always in its protective, yet beat-up box. We’d all gather together, and sit patiently while the film was being “threaded” into the projector, turn off the lights, and in many cases hold our breath that the film was processed correctly, that the projector light wasn’t burned out, or the projector itself wasn’t on the fritz. If all went well, we could re-live family events, and milestones together and be grateful for those beautiful preserved memories.
Today a child’s first steps, their “baby steps” are most likely caught on “camera” most of the time as we all have cellphones nearby or in a lot of cases, in our hands most of our waking hours.
These moments, those first steps are captured immediately, and surely downloaded anywhere between one and five social media outlets so that the family members all over the wide world web can clap and scream in delight at baby steps.
Celebrating baby steps.
So what do baby steps represent anyway? Why do we get so excited over a baby’s first steps? This milestone represents a child’s step into a new world. We celebrate the moving forward of this precious life. As adults we all know where baby steps lead. Soon, very soon, those baby steps will turn into balanced steps, little feet firmly on the ground, laced with confidence. Those steady confident steps will soon speed up, and the child will be stepping in double time, which leads you know where. Next thing we know, we’re trying to catch them as they run quickly, as they squeal in delight, their little steps taking them further than we could have even imagined possible in such a short time.
So, why is it, as adults, we forget how amazing, and delightful baby steps are? Should be? Could be? Where did we forget that baby steps eventually turn into running and squealing in delight?
What about the children that are born and immediately placed in an incubator? Their baby steps may be simply getting strong enough to live outside that device. Their parents squeal in delight in gratitude as they hold them in their arms for the first time.
They thank God.
What about children who are unable to walk? Confined in a wheel chair or bed? Their accomplishments are no less amazing as their parents squeal in delight and thank God for the each milestone, the gift that their child is. The gift of love.
Our lives are all made up of baby steps. In every new adventure, relationship or job. Every new path we take, we are taking baby steps until we can walk double time, and eventually run and in many cases FLY.
So when did we stop celebrating our baby steps?
When did the clapping stop? When did the squealing in delight stop?
When and why did the gratitude for these baby steps stop?
Instead we say, “This isn’t happening fast enough, this isn’t enough money, I’m not moving high enough, etc.”
Yes, I know. We’ve all heard about gratitude, being grateful for what you have, etc. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
But what if, (just stay with me now) there really is something to being grateful?
Saying thank you?
Praying only in gratitude?
I’ll go a step further, (don’t leave me yet!)
As adults, what about being grateful for baby steps?
I know it’s hard. I know. I KNOW. “But, but, but…” I KNOW IT’S HARD, I REALLY DO.
In this day and age, we don’t want to take baby steps. We’re not happy with baby steps. We don’t want to wait for film to be processed and we sure don’t want to hold our breath to see how things turn out.
We want it now.
In the 13 months since I moved from my home in Chicago to Florida, and made the “big move” based on faith, believe me, it hasn’t been easy. Without going into needless details here, my daughter Gina and I have experienced nothing but baby steps. Oh boy. Baby steps for 13 months. The difference is, I have prayed in gratitude for 13 months. (Okay, maybe 11 months, but I had to learn!). Believe me, there are times we get scared. If anyone heard my prayers, they’d probably laugh at me. They’d think I truly went off my nut.
“You’re thanking God for an 8 hour check? A 16 hour check? A 24 hour check? Seriously?”
For every time I thanked God, my Angels, Archangels, Ascended Masters, Spirit Guides, crossed over spirts and earthbound sprits, something miraculous happened afterwards. Gina and I would cry in amazement in what we considered our good fortune, our prayers answered. If someone else looked at the situation, what we were actually grateful for, they may surely think our baby steps were going backwards.
We knew better.
One day I will tell our story of our first month living in Florida. Then the second month. The sixth, eighth, tenth, and the year mark. Some may shake their heads and maybe feel sorry for us, or again, think we we’re crazy or fooling ourselves.
We saw miracles, even if others couldn’t see what we saw.
Again, we do nothing but pray in gratitude always. When one of us forgets, the other reminds. We pray harder when we’re scared, maybe LOUDER, or with more urgency as most people do, but God’s okay with that. He’s listening no matter what.
My birthday was last Friday. August 29th. The night before my birthday there was an outing with co-workers. We went to the “Happiest Place on Earth”. We had a wonderful time. An amazing time. I was grateful beyond belief at the friendships and love I have come to experience with my co-workers.
I arrived home at 11:30pm.
When I walked through the front door of our beautiful home, (thank you God), I was stunned at what I saw. Gina had decorated and cleaned the house. (No, I wasn’t just stunned that Gina had cleaned, ha-ha, I’m kidding honey!)
What overwhelmed me was what my daughter gave me.
In the center of the kitchen island, Gina had placed 3 vases of flowers. Beautiful daises and 3 roses, along with the most beautiful card I could imagine. God must have written this card by His hand. The envelope of the card was decorated in sparkly script letters, and flowers. It read, “Kare-Bear”, Gina’s nickname for me. She had also strategically placed birthday cards I had received from family and dear friends.
Amidst the flowers and birthday cards, were all my accomplishments for the last year. I scanned in disbelief all that I have accomplished in 13 months. Awards from work. Small pats on the back to larger ones. My Reiki certifications, level one and level two. I eyed a small bag. I told her not to get me a gift, as we’re not in the financial position right now, to buy gifts for each other. We celebrate our love and life together in other ways. She said, “Don’t worry, it’s not much, you know I don’t have any money!” We laughed through our tears.
As I opened the small bag, I pulled out a clear plastic frame. Decorated beautifully with sparkly flowers in blue and yellow, (the chakra colors that I work on constantly) and surrounding the frame, the words, “YOU DID IT MOM!”
I was so touched, but admittedly a little confused, as the frame was empty.
She excitedly said, “That’s for a picture of you, and your book, when it’s published!”
I was more touched and overwhelmed by not only her love, but her total confidence in me, in my accomplishments, in my baby steps, and where each small step has led me.
It seems I momentarily forgot to celebrate my baby steps.
But Gina didn’t forget.
She squealed in delight at my baby steps and showed me where all those baby steps brought me.
I thank God for Gina every day. My beautiful earth angel.
I thank God for my sons in Chicago, Michael and Anthony.
I thank God for my job, my car, my landlords, the Tolman’s and Kate.
I thank God for my lessons, guidance, inspiration and His constant love and support.
I thank God for my loving family.
I thank God for my loving friends, and my dear co-workers.
I thank God for the $43 I had to buy gas and groceries this week. Some yogurt, eggs, english muffins, and a half tank of gas. That’ll get us to next payday and I’m grateful for that.
I thank God for helping me with this blog, and for each word that goes into it. Each thought dictated to me from spirit.
I thank God for you, for reading this blog.
As I now have a publisher for my book, I thank God every day for the miracles that surrounded how that all transpired. One day I will write about that. Truly miraculous.
But for now, I will continue to pray in gratitude, see the glass half full, take the high road, take deep breaths, listen and learn my lessons every day.
I thank God for baby steps.
Pray in gratitude. Be thankful for the little things, the baby steps.
Look at your accomplishments.
Squeal in delight.