Little One #2 pulls herself up to the couch in the living room, turns around and … slowly … lets go.
Daytime Dad fixes his eyes on the video camera that rests on a desk. It’s tantalizingly close but not quite within striking distance.
Little One #2, who hasn’t quite grasped walking despite previously taking a few steps on her own, holds her hands outstretched to her side like she’s walking on a tightrope at some circus.
Wobbly but undeterred, she spins around and starts her voyage.
The video camera now seems to mock Daytime Dad.
“Come to daddy,” Daytime Dad says as he stoops down to his knees. “Come to daddy!”
Little One #2 takes one step, then two, her mouth gaping wide with anticipation and excitement.
She lets out a giggle-scream and starts wobbling like a bowl of unruly Jell-O.
“Steady,” Daytime Dad says. “Steady.”
Little One #2 takes a third step, which is a bit shakier than the previous two, but she remains upright.
Step four is followed by step five.
Then, sensing what appears to be an imminent fall, Little One #2 gains speed and closes in for a crash landing.
The video camera is, mercifully, forgotten for the moment.
“Come to daddy!” Daytime Dad says.
Little One #2, all 20-plus pounds of her, crashes into Daytime Dad and grabs a hold of his ankles.
“You did it!” Daytime Dad yells. “What a good girl!”
Little One #2 claps her hands in approval. She flashes a smile that will forever resonate.
It took 17 months, but Little One #2, for the first time, is finally a walker.