In the past few months, we’ve watched our little baby go from crawling to cautious walker to fearless mountain climber. Well, he hasn’t exactly climbed Mount Everest, but at his size, the living room table and kitchen counters might as well be one of the many mountains that surround the city of Quito. Luke has figured out how to push a chair up against his desired object of ascension and makes his way up faster than we can catch him. All of a sudden, we turn around and he’s standing on some high counter top reveling in his new perspective on the world below him.
Living on campus, we have access to the elementary playground. The toys aren’t particularly designed for children under pre-school age. However, Luke has figured out how to climb most of the ladders and ropes that are available there. It used to scare me to watch him climb around, until I realized that he really does have a good sense of balance. It’s always interested to be out on the playground at the same time with other parents. I can hear them gasp and yell out, “Watch the baby!” I try to calmly explain that he won’t fall down, but I stand near Luke, just to give them some peace of mind.
That’s not to say that Luke doesn’t get his fair share of bumps and bruises. He is always trying to do everything that Jared can do, and sometimes his fearlessness ends up giving him a knock or two on his little noggin. It’s challenging when most of the floors in our home are made of hard tile. Sometimes, Luke comes down hard when he trips over his running feet and lands on his head.
Other times, Luke underestimates the hard surfaces of some of his toys. He starts waving toys around and sometimes hits himself in the face with them. I actually got to experience some of that pain myself in the last few weeks. Luke was running toward me one afternoon while carrying a small plastic basket in which he usually kept his cars. I thought he wanted to give me a hug or a kiss. So, I leaned in and closed my eyes as I waited for his little lips to land somewhere on my cheek.
Instead, Luke decided to bounce his small plastic basket off my forehead using all his strength. Needless to say, I was reeling back in a wave of shock and pain as my forehead started dripping blood. Luke got so upset by my tears and moans of pain that he began to cry hysterically and threw up his last meal.
Luke’s lessons seem to come in a lot of bumps and bruises, but he remains fearless and ready for the next adventure. At nearly 20 months of age, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.