What a day we had on Thursday.
Liam spent 6 hours in his car seat and 4 hours trying to wiggle off my lap. We were in back-to-back meetings all day with a custom home builder, a draftsman, and a kitchen cabinet pro -- and there were expansive grass lots to walk over and new roads to navigate. My bag of packed toys and snacks were quickly exhausted.
The day was productive, informative, deflating at times, and most definitely tested our patience. It concluded with a heavy snowstorm that made getting home challenging, and--after 3 hours of driving 20-miles-per-hour through winding hills on dark country roads--eventually impossible.
Thank God for my mother who researched bed and breakfasts in the area and was able to text me the address of a place that Liam and I could stay. A kind Mennonite family would allow us to sleep in the finished part of their barn, and--as our car finally pulled into the long driveway that lead to their farm--I cried tears of relief. Children were playing in the snow, and a golden retriever running in my direction was the welcoming concierge.
We'd be without Michael that night (who took different roads home from work), but at least we were safe and warm and had a bed to sleep in. As Sara put fresh linens on the bed, Liam forgot that we hadn't eaten dinner and instead became overjoyed to finally be free to move -- and he was captivated by his new playmate, Sara's 2-year-old daughter Malia.
As our children romped around the room and rolled on the soft carpet, the stars aligned. This day was Liam's 16-month birthday, and he sprang to his feet, and then--with all of us watching--took 4 or 6 confident steps all by himself, his fists clenched with excitement, his face shining like the sun. When he was finished, he remained standing, his legs strong and confident now. Both of us screamed and embraced as Sara and Malia clapped. He walked (and toward me!) for the first time in his life!
Sara missed it, but I saw it; and, I said nothing because it was both a tender moment and something that I need not encourage. Still, it was a sweet and precious "first" for my boy. My heart smiled.
I'm happy to report that, after 6 inches of snow that night and a iPhone with a dead battery, Sara's husband Daniel plowed us out and it was time for the departure home. In one more hour, I'd be back at the house with Michael who'd be home on a snow day, and I couldn't wait.
Our reception would have been perfect if our sweet Macy could have been there to greet us. But it's so good to be home!