November 21, 2013 by Katia

The quick thump of running feet. The light feet of a child. The creaking front porch wooden stairs relay a story of excitement first, then they speak of uncertainty and hesitation as the creaking noise becomes more sporadic and slow as if the runner, lifted up by the wings of excitement lost some of his gusto being dropped off on our tiny little porch. I stop in my tracks confused. None of my children are home. Who is the child outside my door at 11 am? And then a face appears in my window, eyebrows raised in question as he seeks out the intended recipient of his message, the palms of his hands creating a triangular roof above his eyes. He is now smiling, feeling reassured after noticing me. Childish excitement in his voice as he announces a special delivery. A hint of vulnerability when he hands me the Baby Language Dictionary he had prepared for his across the street neighbours with a question mark in his eyes once again. His ten-year-old mind probably asking “will they like my gift as much as I do?”


Sometimes words fall short so I high-five him and tell him that he’s made me very happy. Very happy this morning. And then I sit down and think some more about footsteps. How perfectly they capture emotion and stir it. Fifteen Month Old is launched from one end of the house to the other by sheer eagerness. You can hear the excitement through the loud drumming of those unstable feet trying to catch up with themselves, every thump on the hardwood floor carrying the promise of a fall to follow and I watch and listen as my heart leaps with joy and fear.

Last week my husband was away for a few days. Fearing that the loud morning and mid-night “MAMA!” summon to his room would wake up 1 Year Old, I’ve offered 4 Year Old a fun game. How about instead of that yell, you sneak into our bedroom at night and whisper “mama”? In return I’d let you stay.

It’s the night side of the next morning and I’m outside the door of crying One Year Old’s room and once again I’m stopped in my tracks by footsteps. First I hear some commotion by Four Year Old’s door. Then the round door knob turns and I see him in all his tininess. Stripped of that extra layer of meaning we get when we know we are being watched. A tiny bedheaded figure all hunched, neck planted deeply into his shoulders in fear as he is making his way for the very first time in his life through a dark corridor. His shoulders raised, his back hunched, his steps tiny, quick and hesitant, knees bent as he tiptoes to our bedroom not hearing me call his name, so immersed he is in his mission to make it through the dark corridor with Blue Bear tucked under his arm for protection from zombies and ghosts. I watch him and I’m feeling so thankful right now for such intense emotion, such heart piercing love brought about by the sound and sight of footsteps.


This has been a Finish The Sentence Friday post on the topic “Right now I’m feeling thankful for…”

Please visit the wonderful:

Stephanie at Mommy, For Real

Kristi at Finding Ninee

Kate at Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine?

Janine at Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic

53 thoughts on “Footsteps

  1. You had me crying just slightly by the end and I will say I always feel bad when my kids wake during the night either from a nightmare or just being scared of the dark of the night. So, I was so picturing my own girls as I read your post. So true though about those little footsteps and most times I will usually just scoop them in bed with me and hold them until they drift back to sleep (but totally just me). Thanks as always Katia for linking up with us and Happy Friday now!

    • Katia says:

      That’s the best compliment ever, Janine, being able to transfer that lump in my throat that I had watching this on to someone else (sounds kind of creepy and possibly disgusting, when I put it this way). Thank you so much!

  2. findingninee says:

    Wow. Just wow, friend. I recently said the same thing to my 4 year old and instead of yelling for me from his room, he creeps into mine and stares at me. Gently pats my face. I’ll take it. Because yes, you’re right. These moments and footsteps are amazing and should be cherished, already.

  3. Jean says:

    We’re experiencing this exact phenomenon with 3 yo in the wee morning hours. I know the feeling of watching them be brave. Or try to be.

  4. Sometimes it seems like those days will never end. The pitter patter of little feet. But they do grow up. Try to keep this perspective — even when you are worn out. Sweet post.

  5. SO beautiful. Absolutely 100% love it 😀

  6. I’ve got goosebumps. That was soooo beautiful. I haven’t worked out how, but when my little ones pad into the bedroom and stand by my bed, I wake up because I know they’re there… without them saying anything. The relationship with our children is weird and wonderful.

  7. VintageInk says:

    That was beautiful.
    You made my eyes well up.

    The layers to that piece. So poignant in all its simplicity.
    The pitter-patter of those little feet..

    I can almost writing.

    I know I’m sounding a little repetitive, but I absolutely love the way you write.


  8. This is beautifully written. I do miss those days. While my daughter used to sleep through the night my son did not. He’d routinely zip down the hall and leap into my bed with the stealth of a Navy SEAL. I used to do the same to my parents when I was little. My dad countered with a “we’ll give you a nickel for each night you stay in your bed.” I well remember hovering in my doorway thinking “nickel or safety, nickel or safety.” Most nights safety won.

    • Katia says:

      HAHA! I love that childhood memory! I used to sneak into my mom’s bed waaay too much and too late but you’re right, safety’s gotta win!

  9. I was completely feeling/seeing that as the story unfolded and was torn between my eyes welling up and wanting to giggle at seeing him steel himself and creeping along the hallway not hearing you call out – and not wanting to scare him by grabbing him OR letting him go into an empty room looking for you. Hope his journey ended without him hitting the ceiling from being startled by your coming up behind him lol.

    • Katia says:

      Oh my gosh, that’s exactly what I was aiming for, thank you so much, Chris! His journey ended when we walked into the bedroom together and I congratulated him for keeping his side of the deal and I’ve spent about a half an hour with him there hoping he would fall asleep, but he didn’t so we ended up having another early start to our day! 🙂

  10. Oh I love this! My little one tries to sneak into my bed at night, too, and even though it takes away some of my sleep, it really is one of my favorite times of the day. 🙂 Shh, don’t tell him!

  11. Kungphoo says:

    What a cute story.. My kids do this with my wife when i am not home.. its a fun sleepover for all of them..

  12. Aww. So adorable. I love the footsteps of tiny people.

  13. Good stuff as always Katia. Lucky for me, my wife’s side of the bed is closest to the door, so 4 pokes her in the head as she sleeps for attention. Lol. I lay with my cpap smiling and pretending I don’t hear any of their encounter. Shhh.

    • Katia says:

      😀 I think the “pretending to sleep” is a built-in parent feature. We’ve all been there, once or twice. The problem is it becomes impossible to keep up the charade once they are actually IN your bed squirming…

  14. Dana says:

    The other morning my husband asked if I remembered both kids coming into our room in the middle of the night because the storm woke them up. I slept through the whole thing.That would have never happened ten years ago!

  15. Oh I love your perspective on this. You make even the most mundane and irritating things somehow beautiful. And thank you so much for your lovely comment on my post. I’m going to make a Crabby Day comment file and fill it with all the amazing things you have ever written on my posts- things that always make me feel so much better, less alone. xo

    • Katia says:

      You know what, I’ve been planning a crabby day file for a while now and this comment is definitely going in! I love you and thank you so much for this wonderful compliment!

  16. I love this. Beautiful. And it really gets me thinking about simplicity in thankfulness…

  17. This is such a beautiful, heart-warming post.
    I love it.
    When I first started walking, I was 9 months old, I never crawled. I just stood up and started walking. So obviously my mom took me to the doctor ; )

  18. Rachel says:

    Beautiful. I’m just learning how heart-stoppingly vulnerable they look sometimes. I get that when my teeny tiny 10 month old is watching telly – plonked in front of it, head right back and wobbling a little bit. You’ve got a new follower. 🙂

  19. Nina Badzin says:

    So well described, Katia. I hear that pitter patter up and down the stairs from 8-10 every night (we have a rambler and the kids sleep downstairs). My older two are always coming up with excuses of why they can’t fall asleep. I know a time will come when they’ll hardly want to talk to us or something like that. I keep telling myself to not feel annoyed when I hear the sound. Sometimes it’s hard. And I want to say AAAAAAAHHHH. 😉

  20. Christina says:

    I love this. Thank you, from one writer to another (although I’m rusty), thank you for inspiring me. This was beautiful and so full of love. Poetic!

  21. The Monko says:

    what a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing at the Sunday Parenting Party, I’m pinning so others can enjoy

  22. You have described that feeling so well! Thank you for putting this into words like no one else can. And thank you for linking up with the Sunday Parenting Party. I’m just now getting around to reading. I see my co-host already pinned your post. I’m glad, but bummed that I can’t be the one to! Next time!

  23. Re-reading this now in search of my favourite Bloppy posts (your prompt, after all) and I still *so* love this. It’s perfection. Truly 🙂

  24. […] him from making his way on his own through that zombie ridden corridor and into our bedroom and bed ever again. Thankfully they don’t usually knock at the same time, so I do the ping pong* from One Year Old […]

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