Thursday, August 19, 2010

31 Months (part two)

I like the way Quinn says certain words right now. She's very clear but still has that baby warble in her throat. She's speaking in confident sentences but the slur between words keeps her indelible baby cuteness intact. Sure, our kids will always be cute to us, even when they grow into their awkward-moody-snarky-teenage selves that I've been warned to fear many times over (I'll try to check back here in a few years just to make sure that I actually just wrote that line) but there's something incredibly cute about babies, especially your own.

Quinn is right in those tweener years where she still clings to some baby tendencies but where she also seems to grow up a little every single day. Next month she'll be light years ahead of today and in a couple more years she and Lucas will have their own ways of communicating that we won't even understand. Only then will I truly appreciate the ways she talks to me now.

She's so adorable, so earnest when she determines to let you in on one of her secrets. She'll even grab your face if you try and turn away from her while she is engaging in conversation with you (like I said, cute at two-and-a-half, maybe not so much at thirteen). But I get the feeling that she just likes to interact with people, to share in the exchange of information and engage in the social game that we all play. She is very observant and our home isn't one filled with much passive entertainment, especially when it comes to our kids. I don't know how many times I've heard myself say the type of thing I would've hated to hear my own parents say to me, like, "There's plenty of stuff to do if you use your imagination." And I suppose that I chuckle at it all now but I was the type of child that used my imagination and I still enjoy the need to come up with creative ways to keep me entertained. Some of us don't want to rent twenty movies every weekend (yes, I see those people at the video store, too) and give up our lives to the collective desire of entrepreneurs to leech away our time. Some of us enjoy learning how to play the violin or writing a novel or making a movie or painting or even reading a book, spending a quiet moment in the fascination of the mind.

We often spend evenings together with family or friends and, with a beverage in hand, chat the night away, soft sounds keeping rhythm in the speakers. It's a delight to share this time with others and have sincere dialogue with one another. Also, a couple of times a month, we have Buddhist meetings in our home where we chant and share with one another some of our thoughts about the conditions of our lives (minus the beverage and music, of course). Both Quinn and Lucas are very aware of these gatherings and often run through with their loud play or sometimes they even sit quietly on our laps as the interesting conversation swirls around them. We don't pretend to be something else with them either, to prop up our lives in a fantastic way. This is the environment that they are going to grow up in.

The other day Lucas told me that he doesn't like to talk. I was dumbfounded because he has the tendency to be very talkative. Then when I asked him what he meant, he told me that he rather be playing than talking. Well, I thought that he talks when he plays all the time, creating storylines with his cars or playing a game with Quinn, and that's what I said to him. He told me, emphatically, "No, I mean when we just sit around and don't do anything else but talk." It made me laugh, of course, but I was also a little sad that Lucas is already distancing himself from our living room conversational atmosphere. Yet, I have a strong feeling that Quinn will not feel that way once she gets old enough to interact with all of us on a more equal plain. She has a tremendous confidence and I am constantly amazed by her intricate awareness of the world around her. I know that Lucas will pull her away for awhile and they will have that space that only belongs to them but eventually our little Quinny will be pulled back into the thick of it and she'll espouse fluently on all the topics of the day...just like her Mommy.

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