First Steps

22 May


Life is so much better…with family!

This is a story of legacy.


The sun shines through the windows and onto the floor. An antique lamp sits on an old brown table near a green couch. The lamp wasn’t originally a lamp. It was a statue that had been discovered at a garage sale, and converted into a beautiful lamp.

He uses the couch to pull himself up, and he smiles at his mommy and daddy. His daddy is sitting on the floor with his arms out ready to catch the thirteen-month-old. His mommy has the video camera out, and is sitting behind his daddy recording everything. As the boy starts to wobble forward, mom and dad encourage him. “You can do it!” “Come on.” “Daddy will catch you.”

Knowing that his dad has always caught him before, the little boy moves his chunky legs and stretches out his hands as far as they can go. He tries to hold on to the couch with one arm, and use the other to reach his daddy’s hands. But his dad is just out of reach. The thirteen-month-old lunges forward and takes a step before falling into his daddy’s arms. This game continues for an hour as his dad moves a little farther and farther away each time.

On the last attempt of the day. The little boy puts together five steps in a row. The parents cheer. They praise him. They dance around the room with him. They call their extended family and talk about his first steps. They watch the video they’ve recorded over and over and over again. The parents are ecstatic.  The toddler senses his parents’ pride.

All because he took a few steps on his own.


A year later, that same boy is at the top of the stairs. Fear, coupled with a sense of adventure, show on his face. Although he can walk, and even run without falling, stairs are still a little difficult. But his daddy walks up next to him and reaches out his hand. The little boy grabs his daddy’s finger, holds on tight, and begins to walk down the stairs.


A few years later, that boy is at an intersection. Cars are driving by quickly, and again the boy feels fear and adventure. He reaches up and grabs his daddy’s hand. They cross the street.


Thirteen years later, that same boy pulls into the driveway in his green 1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport. It’s late. He just finished watching a movie at the theater with his girlfriend. He jumps out of his Jeep, grabs his backpack, and shuts the door. He pulls his keys out of his pocket to unlock the door, but it’s unlocked. He walks into the house quietly, supposing that everyone is asleep. But everyone is not asleep.

The light of an antique lamp, a lamp that wasn’t originally a lamp, illuminates a small part of the living room. His mom is sitting on the couch reading a book. She’s a lot older, with gray hair and some wrinkles. But the same proud smile still illuminates her face as her son walks in the door.

For an hour or so, they talk about his day. She asks him about his date, the movie he saw, if he got his homework done, how school was, and if he enjoyed soccer practice. He tells his mom just about everything — not in a weird sort of way — but simply because his mom has always fostered a relationship with him built on conversation.


Eight years later, that same boy — a man now — walks around to the passenger’s side door and opens it for his mom. They have just pulled up to his favorite coffee shop, and he’s excited to share that place with his mom. He’s even more excited because his mom still likes to pick up the tab. They sit for a few hours and talk about life. He tells her about his marriage, what it’s like to be a dad, and how work is going. She smiles and listens just like she’s done for twenty-six years.

After coffee, they drive back to his house. As they walk in the front door, an antique lamp — a lamp that wasn’t originally a lamp — illuminates the foyer. A two-year-old boy runs around the corner and yells, “Nina!” As she picks up her grandson, her face breaks out into a smile. Meanwhile, a little one-year-old wobbles around the corner repeating “Na, na, na” as he tries to say her name. She picks him up too and holds the two boys.

For a quick moment, she closes her eyes and bows her head. It’s subtle, nearly imperceptible. She’s so happy that tears fill her eyes as she embraces her two beautiful grandsons.

What legacy are you leaving? What lasting memories are you making with your children? Comment below!

-Daniel Day


Daniel is the Director of Content for Axis, the author behind 10 Days Without.  He married his  high school sweetheart, and lives in Colorado with her and his 2 boys. Connect with Daniel on Twitter, Facebook, and his website.

photo credit: abernmf1 via photopin cc

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