Dear Babygirl #16: Soaking it up

February 28, 2013

Dear Babygirl,

You are nine and a half months old now and my oh my, you are learning so much.

It’s astonishing to watch. Every parent says this, of course. The whole “They change every day!” mantra. And I knew it would happen, but I didn’t expect it to be to experience. As with most things in life, it’s all in the little things. The tiny everyday things that one day you don’t have a clue how to master and the next day you are doing with a casualness that speaks, “What? It’s no big deal, Mom.”

Two weeks ago you realized you could hold your own bottle, and became quite content simply feeding yourself.

Last week you started singing.

Last weekend you started pointing at things you wanted, thrusting your entire arm and hand straight out towards whatever it was you wanted to discuss with grunts.

Monday you picked up one of those touch ‘n feel board books and flipped through the pages all by yourself.
Tuesday you knew exactly where the fuzzy parts were on each page.

Wednesday you started saying “duh duh duh” when the dog walked into the room.

Thursday you pushed yourself up from your belly into a seated position in your crib. The first time you’ve ever been able to do that by yourself.

How are you learning so much so fast? Even the most veracious adult learner wouldn’t be able to keep up with your pace.

It’s interesting to think about how learning is engrained in you. Physically, biologically, you are programmed to keep moving forward. To continually master new things.

It’s sad to think about how most adults have lost that. At some point they took a pit stop between childville and adulttown, temporarily lost their wonder and determination to keep moving forward, and forgot to ever put that train of learning back on its tracks. It was engrained in them at some point, too, but they grew, developed the ability to make their own decision, and decided to stop.

I hope that never happens to you. I hope you keep your wonder and determination to learn new things, even when those new things might not seem as important as, say, the ability to feed yourself or walk upright.

A friend of mine once called me a human sponge for my ridiculous habit of soaking in random tidbits of new information and experiences everywhere I go. It’s just how I am, I guess. But I am aware of what a conscious decision it is. It was. To be this way. To be the geek that reads the back of the menu at a new restaurant so on the way out the door, when everyone is talking about how great the fish sandwich was, I can regale them with the story of the huge piece of driftwood in the front entry and how that was the first piece of this entire building and the owner, Jim, found it one day when he was praying about what do to with his life and isn’t it so interesting how a fabulous new restaurant can be inspired by a piece of wood? Cool huh, guys?

Guys? … Hello?

That sponginess transfers into my reading, too. I’m just as interested in reading the latest bestselling novel as I am a book about a combat zone hospital or a memoir of one of the greatest golf coaches ever or a non-fiction e-book about minimalism.

I can’t wait to keep dripping drops of learning inspiration on you from my bucket of unending curiosity. Some days, some years, I’m sure I’ll miss hitting you with them. Or they will land in a pool that has already deemed itself too full. But I’ll keep dripping, and I can’t wait to see what you get excited to learn about.

I can’t wait to learn from you.

I can’t wait to be regaled with a random story of a random piece of driftwood in a random Intracoastal Waterway dive restaurant that you were thrilled to be able to share with me.

And I can’t wait to learn with you. Always with you.

Keep soaking it in, Babygirl. Keep soaking it all in.

All my love,

For more in the Dear Babygirl series: Letters to my Daughter

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