This past weekend my family and I took to the streets and joined our Disney Baby family in what was Lola’s first ever walk since life outside of the womb. Three glorious miles — glorious because in my heart I knew that each step we took wasn’t just a step. It was my attempt to instill something in my daughters — that this — the very thing we were doing at that moment is what life is all about. It’s about making a difference. It’s about making lives better and in doing so, the most miraculous thing happens — we become better.
We pounded the pavement and for a couple of hours we learned statistics about premature babies, smiled and said thank you as volunteers cheered us on, nervously chased our little one who insisted on walking without holding our hands, panicked when we realized that I left the pacifier in the car, watched Lola have what may have been her biggest meltdown yet, parked the stroller to change a diaper and took turns holding our littlest one in our arms while the other pushed the stroller.
Side by side we walked, honorary “VoluntEARS” our family of four, alongside what for a while had just been my extended virtual family. People I knew existed but had never met. And indeed it was a gift to be able to see some of the faces behind what has been a gift to my journey through motherhood over this past year — Disney Baby and this blog. But this was also a chance for my girls to see what happens when thousands of people come together and gracefully and excitedly rally behind a cause.
People feel inspired. They are reminded that kindness and character still count. That they possess the power to make a difference and that the world is still a beautiful place. Beautiful because people care and realize what matters most in this life — people matter.
Unlike her big sister, Lola won’t always remember this day. But when we revisit pictures and talk about the very first time she marched for a cause I hope it reminds her of how good this feels — believing in something. Standing for something. Marching for something. Or in this case someone — babies. And by that time I hope that doing so — believing and standing — will have become a part of who she is. Not foreign but familiar because we, her parents, took the time to make it a part of her life.