It has been a long road to get our man-child to walk steadily of his own volition. My hope was to nail it down early in 2011, before getting too far into the third trimester. But I am not really in control of these things, & I've been nervous about surprise bump arriving before Elijah embraced independence in this way. About two weeks ago (so 15 months old) he became more bold about letting go of objects previously used to steady himself... the most frequent being my legs. For this I was very grateful. Last week he abruptly started walking continuously around the house, changing direction without falling & picking up small objects to carry as he walked. After maybe 3 days of this, he decided it was preferable to kick a ball along his path & grunt joyously so that I could show proper awe at his achievement. He'd seen us kick object out of the way, but I don't think anyone showed him how to control & follow a ball like that. Obviously Daddy can't get enough of it. It's the one sport we both played & the one he hoped our kids would adopt as their own.