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For a long moment, she just stood there, holding on to the side of the restaurant booth, And then, in a flash, she launched, There was Frances, taking her first four baby steps. A moment later, she plopped down and turned around with a grin. Frances is slightly over a year old now, and those first few steps, wobbly though they were, signal her official leap into toddlerhood, How did this happen so soon?

As CURVE readers may remember, my attempts to conceive were partially chronicled in this magazine some time ago and provided the inspiration for my book, The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians.

So, here is the continuation of the story: Motherhood is far more joyous, and also more difficult, than I ever could have predict-ed. It's a lot like those first baby steps... you don't always know quite what you're doing, but something drives you to keep going on the right path. And that path led us to the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival in August, where we celebrated Frances' first birthday.

Why did I end up trekking across the country to attend the festival alone with my young daughter? Partly, of course, to challenge myself, and see if I could do it. Partly to see old friends from all over the world, and hang out with other queer mamas and their babies all day, every day. Partly to revel in the woman-loving, girl-positive atmosphere that pervades there. And partly just so that, 15 or 20 years from now, Frances can roll her eyes and tell her friends that way back when she was a tiny tot, not even able to walk yet, her crazy mother took her to this women's music festival, out in the middle of the Michigan woods, for her first birthday.

Though Frances may not really remember how wonderful it was to be at Michigan, I hope that trip will only be the first of many that we take together. My partner and I want to show her every corner of this big world, and teach her all about the people, plants and animals that live here. Now that she's walking, we can venture forth step by step, side by side, together.

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Author:Rachel Pepper
Date:Dec 1, 1999
Next Article:Frankly Speaking.

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