Lucy is not walking...yet. But every day, she gets more daring and coordinated. I think it could happen soon. For now, she is content to crawl — fast — to her intended destination, and there is always an intended destination. She isn't out for a leisurely crawl; she's got bookshelves to empty, lint to eat. "Very busy girl" is what they call her at school.

At school, all this investigation and activity is fabulously safe. Everything is soft-cornered, carpeted, and closely supervised.
But our house is a minefield. Electrical wires, chokeable objects, sharp edges, tile floors, to name a few. The other day, I had the iron (not hot) on a dresser, the cord dangling off the edge within her reach. One yank and it would have been a Wile E. Coyote situation, only not funny. At all. The real hazards are those moments of inattention. A pamphlet from the pediatrician's office cautioned that the phone is the most dangerous object in the house. Lately, I know I am far too cavalier about leaving her unwatched in seemingly safe places.

When she was first born, I became morbid, obsessed with danger and death. This was a huge shift for someone who regularly leaves the house unlocked, goes running at night, talks to strangers, and crosses against the light. I am famously, stupidly careless with my person and my possessions. But the world suddenly got more dangerous once Lu was in it. My own sense of personal safety sharpened: I feared leaving her motherless. And what I feared might happen to her? I literally shudder to think.

Yet my sense of safety has dulled after 11 injury-free months. Yesterday on the town lake trail, we stopped with the jogging stroller to let Lu get a good look at a goose, and as the goose hissed and honked agressively, Maggie got nervous. She is the safety-conscious type. Her almost baby (Small Person Stephens) won't have to worry about being attacked by a goose or pulling an iron onto its head.

I must recommit to fear! Conjure up those morbid visions of Lu's newborn days! I have something more important than car keys to lose, after all.