Recently I reached a couple of career milestones. I successfully defended my thesis, thereby becoming Dr. Science Mom. Then I was invited to my first job interview which, regardless of the outcome, made it clear to me that I am now a professional and no longer a student.
Today I witnessed another milestone, which fills me with an incredible amount of pride and joy – my baby took his first steps. He had been walking with the support of two hands for a couple of months and started walking with the support of only one hand a week and a half ago. Then today he happily walked unsupported between my husband and me. It started small, with one and then a couple of steps, but as he grew more confident we were able to move farther and farther apart. Imagine that it was just over a year ago that he made his entrance into this world! It is truly amazing, and it is a testimony to what great things can come from small beginnings, when one takes the time to practice and build upon prior successes. My baby came into this world helpless, not even able to hold up his own head, and today he took his first steps to independence.
His milestone gives me perspective as I take my first wobbly steps as a professional scientist. When I feel inexperienced and perhaps overwhelmed as I continue my journey, I will try to remember the lesson my baby taught me today. It wasn’t long ago that I too was helpless and brand new to science, and I like my baby I have grown. Now we both need to learn and practice, so that some day soon we will be steady on our feet and we’ll both be running.