Disclaimer: The Thunderbirds do not belong to me. They are the property of Gerry Anderson and his affiliates. No money is made from this. It is purely for enjoyment/ saving-me-from-insanity purposes.
AN: Plot? What plot? Yes, it's another one of those…
Well, after three hours of Adv. Bio, my brain decided that it was time for a break, and the Word document agreed. If this is what understanding the complexities of DNA will produce, I don't want to see what the digestive system will inspire…
With my first-born son, everything is a new experience. Some of them turn out to be disasters – Lucille will never let me forget the first diaper changing incident, despite me pleading with her to leave it in the past, where it belongs – and others are some of the most magical moments I've experienced to date.
When I was younger, my father would often tell me, when you have your own son, you'll understand what I'm talking about. Well, every Tracy's an intelligent man, and my father was no exception. He was also right.
Let me take you back to my first-born. Born on the 4th of April, with a matting of dark hair and piercing blue eyes, Scott Tracy became the centre of my universe, the lord and master I strive to please continually. Even though he had been growing inside Lucille for months before his birth, he was never really a tangible concept to me until he was placed in my arms. Nearly a year on, he still continues to amaze me, and I still can't quite believe how lucky I am to have him.
Reclining against the cushions on the couch, I can sit here, cup of joe in one hand, and observe my little son shuffle along, using his tiny hands to grasp the edges of tables so he doesn't fall over. I can see the cogs turning in his mind as he figures out that if he actually uses his leg muscles, instead of letting them collapse from underneath him, he can stand unaided.
And so he lets go of the table vertex he's been holding onto. His eyes darken in concentration, turning from cobalt blue to almost black, his chubby legs waver and begin to bend, but Scott resists. I set my cup down on the coffee table and hover behind him, just in case he needs me to catch him from falling. It's not necessary; I can see him fight gravity's unforgiving pull. I see him waging war against himself. I see him pushing himself to stand on his own two feet, even though it looks like he's about to lose this battle.
Scott's centre of gravity shifts and he lurches forward. My heart makes a leap worthy of a pole vaulter, and settles into my mouth. I don't want my Scotty to get hurt while he discovers how to stand. I want to wrap him up in bubble wrap and keep him in a pristine condition, unbroken and whole. Scott steadies himself, and suddenly he's standing.
Upright, drawn to his full height, with no support.
I call Lucille so she can bear witness to this moment too. Like a typical mother, she brings the mini-disc recorder and together, we immortalise this moment in digital binary code.
Eventually, Scott's legs tire and he falls to the floor, butt coming into contact with the carpet. From his position on the ground, he opens his mouth, cavernously wide, and lets out a yawn, exhausted by his exertions. I bend down, pick him up and set him to sleep in his crib. I run a finger down over his cheek, tuck the blanket around him more snugly and watch him as he dozes off to sleep.
It won't be long, and I know what comes next.
Today, it's Saturday. A good day for me. No business calls, no unexpected late-night meetings; just an entire day to spend with my wife and son. Lucille and I sit on the sofa, she nestles her head into my shoulder and I wind my arm around her waist. She hasn't been feeling well over the past few days – she's been waking up at all hours of the night to throw up; gastric flu has hit her hard – and I hope that my presence can comfort her slightly.
It happens on this tranquil morning. Scott, from where he stands, free from support, on the floor, places one foot in front of the other.
"Dadda," he says, voice set at a baby pitched squeal, hands sort of propelling himself through the air.
His voice draws my attention. I instantly hop off the couch and squat down to his height, arms outstretched as he toddles his way to the safety of my being. As soon as he reaches his destination, I scoop him up into my arms and toss him delightedly into the air.
My son has taken his first baby steps.
I'm proud as punch.
My son has taken his first baby steps!
In my arms, Scott begins to fret. He squeals and squirms, making holding onto him a challenge. Before I drop him, before he accidentally hurts himself, I set him back down onto the floor. It's safer that way. I watch him as he toddles off again, exploring his world from a new perspective.
It is only once he turns away from me that I feel a twinge of sadness. I realise that this is the first time he's walked away from me. I realise that it won't be the last time he walks away from me.
Scotty takes his baby steps in his journey of self-discovery. I take my baby steps in learning how to be able to support him, and eventually allow him the room to spread his wings and fly, morph into the Tracy man I know he'll grow to be.
I take baby steps in learning how to let him go.