When the newest member of your family arrives, it can be easy to get lost in all the minutiae of caring for your little one – but there are magical moments to be found in all the little details. Each month I feature one mom sharing her magical moment of motherhood. This month, meet Charlotte and her one-year old daughter Lilah as they celebrate a huge milestone they were able to catch on video: baby’s first steps!
Photos and videos used with permission from Charlotte Arsenault.
Your little one has accomplished a huge milestone! What was it like to watch your daughter take her first steps?
It was so exciting! I had a feeling of completeness, because this felt like the final “baby” milestone. There are a million of them along the way, but this was the BIG one. So I was overjoyed that we had reached it and so proud of her, but also incredibly sad! I cried because I suddenly saw this walking toddler that had seemingly replaced my tiny baby overnight!
When did daddy get to see for the first time? What was his reaction?
We were so lucky because daddy was right there filming it. He seemed to have the same experience that I did while watching, we laughed and were so excited but when I turned to him, his eyes were shining from tears. I think both of us were simultaneously thinking, “Thank gosh this won’t be our last one so we can experience this feeling again!” and “Oh no. Now she’s going to be in EVERYTHING!”
There have been a series of milestones for Lilah – and mama! – lately: first steps, beginning to wean, and her first birthday just around the corner. How does it feel to watch your little one grow up?
It is truly awesome. I mean, on hand I am congratulating myself for not only keeping an entire other person alive for almost a year, but doing it in a way that has allowed her to thrive. On the other hand, I am sad because I know our days of nursing, which I so struggled with for months, is coming to an end. The thought of not curling up with her to nurse in the middle of the night is so sad that I keep pushing back on weaning her completely. Overall though, I am excited to enter a new phase of her little life by ushering in her first birthday with a sigh of relief and a joyful celebration!
With so many milestones that can happen in baby’s first year, what’s your advice for new moms to capture and treasure those magical moments of motherhood?
Oh man, each little milestone, from the first smile to the first step is thrilling! We were lucky that we got the first steps on camera, but everything else is happily engrained in our memories. So my advice would be instead of chasing down the camera, be in the moment. Your baby will never have that first moment again- and you are lucky enough to be right beside him or her while it happens, so really be there!
Leo, Charlotte and Lilah live in Atlanta, Ga. with their two cats Frankie and Mia. Leo’s in retail and Charlotte is a hospital chaplain. Both love nothing more than visiting the park, going for long walks, and cuddling their little girl.