Watching My Baby Learn About Gravity

My darling girl is crawling now, and pulling to stand. She wants to walk so badly. I know that as a part of learning to get up and around on her own two feet, she’ll need some hard lessons in gravity. Right now, blissfully ignorant of the force that will be responsible for bumps and bruises as she toddles — the force that will one day be behind her bike crashes and tumbles down the ski slope — she takes so many risks. She holds my hands to stand, and then daringly, foolishly, lets go, though she’s not yet ready to balance on her own. Why shouldn’t she? There are no consequences; I always catch her. She becomes more adventuresome every day. She does dumb stuff, frankly, like throwing herself backward from where she stands holding the couch. But why shouldn’t she? There are never consequences; I always catch her. That’s the rub…my desire to keep her safe stands in her way. I know that gravity is (like so many other lessons in life) one I can’t teach her; she has to learn for herself, through (probably uncomfortable) experience. My little girl is growing up, and as she does, she’ll have hard lessons to learn. If she is a good student of life, she’ll be walking soon, and then running, and then hiking, biking, skiing, and adventuring with her daddy and me. I have a hard lesson ahead as well. I need to learn when to catch her and when to let her fall, both literally and figuratively. I don’t want her to grow up sheltered, but neither do I want her wounded. I want her to continue taking risks as she grows, but measured, considered risks. It’s hard for me to adapt my parenting. She is my first baby, and I am used to protecting her from every harm. The world is changing now, for both of us, and she’s so excited and ready. But I am not. Not yet. I do need to let her fall (gently, carefully, and with lots of cuddles and kisses and reassurance afterward). Soon. Just…not today.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Renee
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 19:19:07

    Might I recommend this blog, and the book by the same name, to prepare you for your future? It’s great stuff!

    http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Our Social Baby (A Thursday Paragraph) | Science of Mom
  3. Trackback: Thursday Paragraph — “Free-Range Kids” |

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