After a month of holding hands with Yog and religiously walking around, Yog finally started walking on his own. Watching him grow towards taking his first few steps on his own has been a significant journey for all of us.
In the early days of trying to walk, he lost his balance once and fell hard. Ever since that day, he became skeptical of walking. Somewhere in his mind, he associated walking with falling and getting hurt. In the last month, we all knew he was capable of walking on his own, but he wouldn’t let go of our hand. For him, the fear of falling was way stronger than the joy of walking on his own.
A lot of times, people on the street looked at him as if something was wrong with him. After all, kids his age walk on their own. It didn’t matter to him and it didn’t matter to me what others thought. I knew he would get there at his own pace sooner or later.
The transformation from those days of not letting go of my finger to now, when he refuses to catch our hand even when we know he is about to fall, is one of the most memorable journey we will ever embark. As we step out of the boundaries of our home, he leaves our hand and runs forward out on the road. He is still wobbling around on his feet, so we are often scared he is going to fall and get hurt. He probably knows it too, but that doesn’t stop him from wobbling and running around at the same time. Every 10-15 shaky steps later, he falls down on the road. We instantly get concerned, but he steps up as quickly as he fell down and starts to run again. All over the street there is a platoon of people trying to catch him, to stop him from running (more so from falling). But he hates to be held on to. He wants to run, catch the flower, pat the dog, or chase the motorcycle whizzing by.
After a few days of trying to prevent him from falling, I gave up. By now, I had realized an important lesson in life – in order to learn how to run, it was also equally important to learn how to fall. Even though Yog is still learning how to run, he has pretty much mastered the art of how to fall. Whenever he is about to fall, he either uses his hands or his soft bouncy diaper to cushion him from the fall. “Falling”, for him is as natural a process as Walking. Some times, when he falls down, he sits on the road and claps his hands, congratulating himself for having fallen down.
I wish, as adults, we are able to remember this lesson, we all went through as children. I wish we are not scared of falling, when we are trying to run.