I allow A a lot of liberties. It’s been a warm summer, and I always let her swim at the beach. This will become a problem when the weather turns and she has no experience bypassing a perfectly good body of freezing cold water.
Maybe I’m a pushover. But also, one of my mom jobs is making life fun. I desperately want our family to do stuff. I hate showing up in a beautiful place, seeing limitless fun potential, and saying, “Maybe we’ll do that next time.” I’m also a firm believer that you never regret jumping in.
A has already learned to ask dad for certain things (sugar and screens) and mom for others (anything wet, muddy, or messy). One morning we are on a walk with my daughter’s good friend baby H and his mama E. The kids find a giant puddle turned mud pit that the WWF should be interested in.
Indoors this turns into water play in the sink, which she wants to do morning noon and night. I mostly let her, because I think it’s the right kind of creative-messiness and because if I don’t let her she clings to my leg and bellows.
When A and I play outside together, I love to show her the things I know: crab molts, urchins, humpback whales, glaciers, and blueberry blossoms. I also love to explore with her what I do not know: We use recordings to identify sparrows by call and watch cartoons in Spanish, and learn all the things I never learned but meant to. For her sake, I am getting a very little bit better at basketball.
There is nothing like a child to remind us that we are all children; that it’s never too late to start something new; that learning never ends.