She’s possessed of a mophead of curly ringlets, auburn at times and the lovely brown I’ll never again have at others. She’s also possessed of a singularly obstinate but also happy-go-lucky personality. I relate, to my sometimes joy, sometimes chagrin.
She is approaching seventeen months (going on years), and her daily delight comes from confidently climbing into the century-old window seats and teetering precariously over the very hardwood floors, pressing her nose to the glass and soaking in the world.
The parenting parallels are not lost on me. As she patrols the length of the window seat chattering, pointing, observing and often misstepping, we are torn between shared pride in her accomplishment, humor at her idiosyncrasies and sheer terror.
Often we encourage her independence, but occasionally we chastise her bullheadedness. On the days we tell her to sit rather than stand, it’s more about our comfort level than her unadulterated happiness.
So, like good parents, we do our best with the choices she is making, offering her skills, teaching her how to safely get up and down in her chosen position and spreading ample blankets to break her potential fall. She’ll need to take that plunge to understand her boundaries, and against our better judgment we’ll need to encourage her back up into her precarious position again, even though we would like it if she just kept both feet firmly planted on the ground.
Some days she dances a little jig, others she pounds on the glass to catch the attention of neighbors, some she spreads out all her toys and worldly possessions to accompany her and others she quietly looks at the birds inches away on the feeder.
She’ll spend an hour or more in her window seat, right up against the edge of the world. The world isn’t ready for her.