Kate's tenth month was a big one for her and our family. We celebrated her first Christmas in lots of ways: Kate was an angel in the church pageant a couple weeks before Christmas, she visited Santa with friends, we attended our first Christmas Eve service at St. R (especially special because two of the other babies born at St. R in the last year were there, too), J and I had our first experience putting together a toy the night before Christmas, we enjoyed Christmas dinner with one of Kate's godmothers and her family followed by Christmas dinner for the three of us at a local Chinese restaurant. After a couple days to recover from the excitement, we were off to celebrate the New Year! Kate got a lot of practice walking in her new shoes at JE's parents' house where JE's brother and his family were also visiting. A quick trip to Nashville to celebrate New Year's Eve with J's old friends D & E (and their wives and growing families) followed. Thankfully Kate continues to be a great traveler.
The most exciting developmental change of the month happened late in the month when Kate took her first unassisted step, moving between J and his secretary while she visited daddy for lunch for December 27th. We expected that first step to be followed by several more, but instead, she spent the remainder of her tenth month practicing that one step. If she couldn't reach an intended target after one step, she would quickly drop to her knees and crawl the rest of the way. She does walk especially well when holding something, pushing something, or hanging onto the fingers of someone she loves.
The most interesting thing we learned about Kate this month is demonstrated in her unwillingness to do something just because we ask for it. Kate does things in her own way, on her own time. We shouldn't be surprised, of course. Our baby knew when and how to be born, and it seems she knows when and how to do everything else--in her own time. We hope this stubborn determination will be a valuable personality trait later in life, but it seems likely to frustrate us in the short term.