The ducks are flying low, black vees swooping between the trees. “Ga ga,” Ezra calls as they pass. He’s toddling along beside me. He weaves into a neighbor’s yard, and I reach for his hand to veer him back onto the sidewalk

Ezra took his first solo steps this week at seventeen months old. Most babies hit this milestone, oh, about a half-year before Ezra.

He took his time, but he’s hitting it in style. Within a day, he’s toddling everywhere – down the hall, across the park, and up and down the block. And he couldn’t be more thrilled about it.

“Hi, hi, hi,” he calls to a neighbor’s cat. He crouches and picks up a leaf, then stops to examine a lavender plant, refusing to budge for several minutes. “Vroom, vroom,” he says, watching someone ride by on a bicycle.

“Where’s the ball?” He points at a pumpkin on a doorstep.

I tend to walk fast. On walks, my husband is always tugging on my arm. “Slow down. I’m back here.” And my parents call my walks sprints. I just love that feeling of striding – legs pumping, arms gliding.

But I’m appreciating Ezra’s pace right now. My favorite season is almost over. The last yellow leaves are clinging to barren branches, and they shine like pendants in the afternoon sun. The sun, itself, won’t be with us for much longer. It usually goes into hiding until about mid-February. So Ezra and I are making the most of it, ambling around the neighborhood every chance we get.

Watching Ezra delight in his first walks makes me think of my four-year-old nephew. He just got his first pair of glasses. His grandmother says he stands at the window and gazes out, remarking on blades of grass, twigs, the grain of wood.

Imagine seeing all of it for the first time.

This post is for Steady Mom’s 30 Minute Blog Challenge.

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About Abby Quillen

Abby Quillen writes fiction and magazine articles. Her articles and essays have appeared in YES! Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, Colorado Central Magazine, and on Common Dreams, Nation of Change, Reader Supported News, The Daily Good, Truthout, and You can find more of her writing at


  1. visiting from steady mom…

    thank you for the reminder of all that my children are seeing for the very first time.

    just beautiful.


  2. You know, Hilmir Snorri, my older one, also didn’t walk until he was 17 months old. At that point he just stood up and started walking like he had been doing it his whole life. This is very typical for him, he never does anything until he is sure he can do it perfectly 🙂 (plus this was so much easier on his parents than his little brother who was all over the place from the time he was 5-6 months old!)

    Hugs from Iceland


    • newurbanhabitat says:

      Hi Stina! Thanks for commenting! Yes, many times, I have appreciated Ezra’s innately cautious approach to life. That’s funny that Hilmir also waited to walk until 17 months old!


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