Monday, December 28, 2009

23 Months

Quinn has reached that special age where we now know that she really understands us when we talk. She's very conscious of our instructions and most of the time she responds accordingly. I guess that means that she's no longer a baby. Ahhhh, our little girl is growing up! She's a toddler.

And she most definitely toddles everywhere! Climbing on the chairs, bed, shelves. Scurrying off down the sidewalk before you can get a handle on her. She is full of smiles and fun but it's also an age where you can't turn your back on them. In some ways it feels like an easier age to combat as a parent. It feels like your instructions and delicate teaching methods are actually taking effect. She shows real signs of improvement, only half the time do we get shrieks of horror when she's not getting what she wants and the other half starts with words like "Please". But then, in other ways it's become an even bigger challenge, especially with someone like Quinn. She doesn't want to hold back, doesn't want to take things slowly. She wants to go headlong into the fray with a big smile on her face and when that happens with one who isn't quite two-years-old...well, it can leave your heart in your throat in half-a-second.

I don't begrudge her...or, at least , I don't want to...seeing as she's the second child, I know there are times when Xtimu and I have become very laissez faire with our parenting methods. After five years and two children, the idea of constantly displaying a firm hand doesn't seem to flare up as brightly as it once did. But sometimes when I see Quinn racing away toward some new horizon with complete abandon, I wonder what we decided to take on with this second child. It was almost easy with Lucas now that I look back. He learned how to walk and it didn't take long for us to convince him that running away from our sides would lead to imminent death or something along those lines. Now here we are with our precocious daughter and we are already having trouble getting a handle on her...and she's not even two!

She's already developing into a social butterfly, never wanting to stay at home. She throws tantrums if she can't go with someone leaving the house and won't hesitate to say goodbye to her beloved home to venture forth on some exciting adventure out in the broad world. I don't know what happened but both of our children love to go out and do stuff. I know that our house is rather small and we rarely turn on the teevee and most of their entertainment comes in the form of a book but that was the life they chose when they decided to form into that zygote those many moons ago. Xtimu and I are both perfectly at home being at home. We can sit and wallow in our music, books, cooking and writing until the oppressive force of the day drowns out our thoughts. A nice walk throughout the neighborhood, to the park or the cafe is all that we need to overcome the feeling of anxiousness that comes from being sedentary. It's blissful to share these small moments with someone who understands that they're meant to be shared in tandem, in linked hands. Our kids will appreciate it one day, I suppose.

I guess that's what we do to each other after all is said and done anyway. Xtimu and I weren't always perfectly aligned. We grinded and sparked when the edges didn't quite mesh but eventually those edges rounded out and our gears smoothed together until we found a wonderful place where our machinations work together and have twice as much power. Psychically we've always had a spiritual or other-worldly connection but all the habits and personality quirks that we both brought to the table got in the way sometimes. It took work to overcome some of those tendencies and develop a true and caring partnership.

And that's exactly what is happening with our children. We didn't have them so that our lives would be easier. We had them because we have love to give to this life, to the world. Our love comes right out of our pores when we share our children with the world. I know that people get it wrong all of the time and I know that we get it wrong some of the time but when I think about Lucas and Quinn being in our lives, an immense surge of love pours out of me. At that moment I know the reason human beings exist. Not to consume or destroy our environment or any of the malcontent urges that come forth in our human interactions. And I'm not even saying that we exist in order to have more children, to further this human experiment, so to say. No, we exist so that love can come forth out of our hearts. There is no greater understanding of what it means to be human, to be happy than when you feel that surge in your blood, when the world comes through clear and true. That's what love is and it is in my eyes when my children are pools of reflection.

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