The past two weeks have been busy. I have put the house again on the market and all its problems are now again on my shoulders. I have to liaise from here the continued cleanup of the pool, and the infighting between the real estate agents. In the meantime I searched for, found and paid a deposit for our new flat, all in between looking after Robert and translating.
I am waiting for the correct moment to tell Jackie about my moving plans. She has been ill all last week, and just came out of hospital yesterday, so I don’t want to bother her with such a serious subject just now.
The singular ray of sunshine in my life remains my little Robert. I spend as much time as I can with him, and he is now beginning to show some interest in books. He takes my pointer finger in his hand and moves it on the pictures of animals, and I tell him what each picture is.
Sometimes he keeps moving back and forth between only two pictures and I keep repeating the names. I once tried and asked him where is the cat and he moved my finger to point to the cat, of course it might have been just a fluke.
The worries I have are many, but I still managed to get a couple of translation jobs. I work at night and whenever Robert sleeps during the morning. Sometimes I go to bed just before Jackie starts waking up to go to work. The strange hours that I keep come at a cost, I am not too energetic when it comes to activities with Robert. I still value the time we spend at Moms and Tots class, and it is great to watch Robert’s development and his interaction with other toddlers. At this age children show more interest to their individual play rather than interacting with others, but still on the rare occasions he picks up the queue of mischief from Zack, or tolerates rough play from Jake is great fun to watch.
The most obvious progress Robert is making -within the play group and outside it- is in mobility. He is starting to take hesitant steps, mostly between two sofas. I will always remember that he took his first steps at Jackie’s house.
When I related this event to his father, he said as I expected he would: “I hope you took a picture”. No I did not, I said. I was the one trying to reassure the little one and trying to catch him in mid run before he falls and gives himself a fright, I did not have two extra arms to hold the camera. My ex husband on the other hand always has more interest for the trophies of parenting, rather than the actual down-and-dirty, grunt work. He does have a picture of his first child taking her first step right under a Christmas tree. At the time I thought it was a lovely picture now I wonder whether taking the picture in this Christmas setting was a higher priority in his mind than making sure the child was ready for the first step. Robert’s first step was not a singular event that needs recording. In fact I do not really know when or where it took place, maybe he did take it in Lucy’s presence while I was out working, it is not important. What is important is that I am there to see this whole process, the build-up of confidence, and the growing thrill on my baby’s face. It is important to catch him and enfold him in my arms time after time as he half runs half stumbles the short distance towards me, and to share his breathless thrill at the achievement. These moments will remain indelible in my mind and in my heart.
For those who still prefer the material evidence to the intangible feelings, I did capture Robert today in a little cell phone video. He took a few steps on the walkway of Jackie’s front garden, I can very well pretend that these were his very first ones.