I remember the first time I tried to walk.
Nobody believes me, because I was about one at the time, but my memory of that day is as sharp in my mind's eye as a photograph, the colors no less diminished by the years (and no, I'm not saying how many years it's been -- check my profile if your curiosity is that morbid).
It was a summer day, and the sun was high in the center of the sky, shining uncomfortably into my eyes. I was sitting in my play-pen on the beach under the watchful eye of my mother, several older cousins, and other assorted family members. I remember I was wearing my favorite red swimsuit. It had little bows all up and down the side, and it made me ridiculously happy to wear it. (Thus beginning my inordinate love of fashion. But I digress...)
I was surrounded by several of my toys in my play-pen, little odds and ends that were meant to distract me from the fact that this play-pen was really more of a make-shift cage. Strangers would come and peer in at me from time to time, making me feel even more like an exhibit. Sometimes I would growl at them, to maximize the effect.
Well, there came a moment during that day when I ceased being amused by my silly little toys. Was it my cousins' shouts of glee as they splashed along the shore that caught my attention? The sound of the surf pounding the shore? My mother's sudden inattention as she attended to one of my cousins? I honestly don't know exactly what compelled me to want to leave the security of my pen, but all of a sudden I knew I wanted out.
At the time, I'd already learned to stand up all by my lonesome, so that was a breeze. I remember standing up and gripping the bar at the top of my play-pen. All that remained between me and my freedom was finding a way to somehow cross over the bar. To my one-year-old self, this must have seemed like a simple thing. All I had to do was lift one leg over the bar, then the other, and step. No biggie.
Reader, things did not go well after that, so I won't belabor the point. Suffice it to say that one-year-old babies do not have a keen understanding of how gravity works. Gravity worked far too well that day, and while I did take that first step, it was only to land on my head. Hard.
Newton would've been proud.