Photo: Lily, gated in and totally not happy about it. Pretty sure she’ll eventually hate me for posting this one :).
Compared to the rest of the (very modest) house we live in, our living room is pretty huge. Big enough for two sizeable couches; large enough for a coffee table, Pack-n-Play, entertainment center, toy box, and leather ottoman/DVD holder/video game hider that Charlotte’s perpetually too-long nails have shredded; spacious enough for lots and lots of Lily-laps around the perimeter. And after cringing every single time Lily came within a (wobbly) inch of a sharp corner or blunt edge or the only un-carpeted portion of our entire first floor, I finally got around to pushing all of the furniture against the wall. Much safer, right?
Sort of. Except now, Lily has taken to walking right up to the “off-limits” areas and shrieking in order to alert me that she’s right on the verge of making a choice that might warrant a (totally brief and age appropriate) trip to time out (which, apparently, isn’t much of a deterrent, given that Lily ALWAYS chooses to take that next step). And while it’s definitely sort of frustrating to know that this is only the beginning of limit-pushing, there’s also a piece of me– the risk-averse, good-girl, perpetual-pleaser piece–that feels really proud (and maybe even a little jealous) of the fact that she is so aware of the boundaries and limits that have been set for her and still has this intense desire to challenge them.
Growing up, my mom always talked about generational evolution within families, but I guess I never really understood the pride she felt when my cousins and I made choices or received opportunities or achieved things that weren’t possible for her or her siblings. Even right after Lily arrived, Dmitri and I were totally focused on figuring out when and how we’d see ourselves reflected in her little face and her habits and even her decisions. Now, while I still love catching the occasional glimpse of Dmitri when Lily smiles (or scrunches), we have both started to take pride in the knowledge that she is becoming this person who is already so much braver, so much more curious, and just so much cooler than either of us will ever be– and I am thrilled about all of the possibilities that lie ahead of her.
It’s evolution in action, I suppose– and
she’s it’s even more beautiful than I anticipated.