A very good friend of mine, who also writes a blog, once said to me that we can learn more from children than we ever could from adults.
At the time I hadn’t a clue what she meant, as I was pregnant with my first child. But as my kids have grown, and I’ve become a mother of four, I have understood more and more what she was trying to tell me.
My youngest baby Jack is now 9 months old.
He started crawling about three weeks ago, and has since progressed to hauling himself up to standing on anything within his reach. He also crawls around the house in search of me, and throws himself in a dramatic, crying heap at my feet, no doubt hoping that I will pick him up.
I’ve been watching him with interest this past week, and here are the things that I have learned from him:
Babies are hardwired for struggle when they get here.
Learning to crawl, walk and feed yourself is not easy for a small baby: they take time, energy and persistent effort. Every day, babies practice and practice until they master the next small step that will take them closer to their ultimate goal. We could learn a lot from this persistent effort.
First they perceive that they want something, and then they go after it fearlessly.
“Hmmmm, I am over here and my mother is over there, how to get to her?”
I don’t imagine that when Jack decides that he wants to get across the room, that he sizes up all the potential things that could go wrong, and then decides against it. That’s what adults do. Babies just set their sights on a goal and then set off fearlessly. Sure, a little caution is sometimes needed when pursuing anything. But there’s a difference in calculated risk and scaring yourself out of taking action.
Emotion is neither good nor bad, it’s just part of being human
Babies don’t care how loudly they cry or laugh, or who can hear them. They don’t give a damn if their noise is “inappropriate” or not at a good time; they just let rip. As a result, their emotional bandwidth is far wider than ours. They are capable of extreme unhappiness, but also extreme joy. They feel on a very deep level. And since when did feeling and expressing become so bad anyway?