It's finally happened. Not that we weren't warned. She was showing the signs for a while. It had been more than three months since she had taken her first step. Penelope has been cruising along since then, coasting like a high school senior in April. Leaning on couches, coffee tables, people, whatever was there. But leaning, holding on for dear life, not branching out on her own.
We would watch and wait for the moment when she would finally let go. Like waiting for your favorite team to record that last out of the World Series. Nervous anticipation. Excitement bordering on hysteria. You know it's coming, you just don't know when. We would watch her let go, then grow silent so as not to distract her. She'd take a step, wobble, we'd get excited, start to clamor, then she'd fall or reach out for something, and we'd let out a collective sigh. She was the final batter of the game, stubbornly fouling off pitch after pitch with two strikes. Staying alive, but forever prolonging the inevitable.
But it still came as a surprise. To us. Not to her. It was as if she planned it all along. She knew she could do it, now she was just ready to show us.
So with little fanfare, but a lot of pride, Penelope started to walk on her own. Now there's no stopping her. She's waddling around, barely bending her knees, arms clenched tightly against her body. A little Frankenstein with alligator arms.
She falls and without hesitation, gets back up, with the determination of a relief pitcher, bases loaded, game on the line, staring into the catcher's mitt. Tunnel vision.
She's very busy now, exploring every inch of everywhere we go. And now that she's on the move, and quickly, there's no letting her out of your sight. Gone are the days of sitting on the couch or lying on the floor and playing with Penelope. She's a workout now. She's got places to go, things to see.
There is going to come a time, very soon, where Penelope will require, demand, more space to explore. Indoor space. Outdoor space. Now that's she's growing up, it's time for her parents to do the same. Time to get a house.