Thursday, October 22, 2009

21 Months (the second act)

I know that Quinn is going to be two in three months, that she's still only one-and-a-half or three-quarters if you want to get technical, but whenever someone asks me how old she is, I always say that she's two. I don't know what it is but when I look at her, she just seems like a two year old. She's confident and brave and bossy and loving. And she talks a lot. Her favorite activity is to wander around the house and point out all the things that belong to everybody.

--Daddy's shoes
--Mommy's pants
--Lucas' book
--Nonno's car
--Nanna's purse

She doesn't always say the actually qualifying item clearly sometimes but we all know what she means. It's kind of strange how you quickly can learn the language of a baby as they're coming out of baby-hood into toddler-hood, which happens to exactly correspond with the time that they are also beginning to speak. Does that mean that learning how to communicate is the first step toward becoming a self-realized individual? You can speak, you can understand me, so now you can be responsible. Go clean up your room!

Two-year-olds have to assimilate everything so quickly, especially second children. They don't have time to worry about whether their actions are proper because by the time that they do that, they're left behind. They can see everyone around them jumping and playing and carousing abundantly, so they simply assume that's what they're supposed to do. Yet, sometimes there are things thay shouldn't be doing, activities that require more body to accomplish them. Quinn still doesn't seem to understand that concept. When we walk, she wants to walk. When we climb, she wants to climb. When we read, she wants to read. When we talk, she wants to talk. Most of the time her version of older actions are endearing and cute as hell.

It's interesting to feel a love grow inside you for another human being. The more time that you spend with someone, the more love forms within you. We spend so much of our lives in this culture keeping people out. Is it because we are afraid of love? Before I was a husband and a father I had a really difficult time allowing people into my life. Even when I first met Xtimu, no matter how much I was enamored with her, I had trained myself to keep people out of certain aspects of my life and that meant that I couldn't be fully honest with her. Somehow we overcame those difficulties and I came to realize that when you let people in and share yourself completely with them, then a tenderness grows inside you. Truly connecting with another human being on an intimate level is the only way that we show our humanity and it's the only way that we can create a loving connection with the rest of the world.

I'm Buddhist, in the sense that I believe in the philosophy of Buddhism that I follow. The language of Buddhism connected with my being in a profound way, more so than other religions or philosophical ideas had in the past, but the greatest part about it is that through my practice and discovery of this philosophy I am learning how to communicate love toward another human being. I respect them and appreciate them enough to communicate with them completely and truthfully. Only Buddhism has allowed me to do that but I also believe that any theology or philosophy has the ability to help people do that. Not only do I believe that but I feel that it's the true purpose for our philosophical and religious experiences.

Watching my two children grow has helped me grow in that regard. I have felt my own love develop tremendously as they have developed through each month. I even understand more clearly how much my love for Xtimu has evolved. I have a deeper understanding of my own humanity and that in turn is affecting all of my other interactions with the people around me. I love Xtimu and my two children with all the life that surges within me. They have helped me become a better human being. This is a theme that is continuously growing in my life, not coincidentally as my two children continue to grow. I heard recently that the only reason that we exist is to become truly happy individuals. Not superficial happiness that comes with our consumer culture but real happiness, absolute happiness. With every day that I experience my children in my life, I know that I am getting closer and closer to that realization.

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