Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nora: The Big Outside

Dear Nora:
       So you had an exposure to the big outside.  And you took Dad and Charlie along. Probably wise first time out.  What did you think?  Unlike anything you've ever seen, right?  That's what it's really all about, setting your fears aside and challenging your inside to experience as much outside as you can.
       The next bit of your life (all of it) will find a few challenges, none of which will present much difficulty for you if you remember one of my keys; stay curious.  The arbitrary milestones folks assign to the very young happen quite naturally and easily if you are curious.  You'll hold your head up because the view is better.  You'll scoot and eventually walk because you NEED to taste or touch something.  You'll imitate sounds and eventually speech because it's fun, AND because of the reactions you'll get.  (Words will freak them out at first; use with caution!)  Just remember to ignore timelines.  There are millions of things to learn.  Adults only a understand a small number of them, and your priorities and pace are your own, at least for now.
       I mentioned fears.  Fears are ideas that stop your growth. There will be setbacks.  You'll crawl into a wall, or fall down, or run into somebody who doesn't care about your progress.  Those are challenges, and they are sometimes painful.  But they only become fears if you allow them to stop you from exploring different ways to overcome them.  Stay curious, in spite of setbacks.  Humans weren't built to hide in their cribs.  Get out and live a little, even if it hurts once in a while.
       Now, I don't mean to imply that there are no risks in the world.  Between disease, animals, diseased human animals, age, gravity, and your own distracted brain, there are plenty of safety issues over which you have little control.  For now, that is Charlie and your Dad's business, and they take it seriously.  Later, when you (and they) are more confident, you won't want bodyguards.  Be aware of danger, define the risk, listen to your gut, train yourself to react.  (Sorry, this little lecture follows news of innocent people being hurt.  It happens.)  But don't let random dangers keep you from your marathon.
       You have a miracle brain.  It's true.  And you may be more in touch with all parts of it than you'll ever be.  One dirty trick of life is that the more you gather experience, the more focused you're brain becomes on functional purposes, losing versatility.  You will learn more in a minute today than I will in a month.  It boggles my mind.  And sometimes it is hard to be patient with boggled minds.  But that's what I'm asking you to do.  Whenever you have difficulty understanding the behavior of anyone over the age of about four, try to remember they may be out of touch with part of their brain, and be tolerant.  Help them if you can.
       I'll be in touch.  You do the same.  K

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