Here you'll find current musings, as well as the archives from two blogs of yesteryear: YoungMarriedMom and What I Learned While Writing a Novel. Please comment and share. We love well when we are in conversation with one another.
Sometimes I wonder: when parents look back on their children’s behavior in their younger years and see hints of since-blossomed personalities, are they projecting what they’ve learned about their children on the past? Or are there real indicators of character at as young as, let’s say, six months?
As a rule, I try not to inflate Jacob’s infant behavior into expectations about his emerging personality. I try to look at things for what they are, not what they might be, i.e. he gets entranced by the television because of the light it emits, not because of a deep-seated desire to become either an actor or a couch potato (unless we’re watching football; then it’s because he can’t wait to get his hands on a pigskin). It’s the less romantic approach—which is a departure for me—but I think the healthier one, especially for one prone to idealize.
However, as I’m witnessing more and more of Jacob’s physical development, I can’t help but wonder how much of his identity is coming through along with it. The other kids we know in the same age range are developing at the same pace, but in different arenas. Case in point: Jacob is uninterested in sitting up. When I plop him down that way, he’ll tolerate it for a couple of minutes, then either fall backwards or face plant so that he’s lying on the ground again. He’ll roll over, then pivot and creep and scoot himself where he wants to be. His goal is not to observe his surroundings, but to get himself from point A to point B (which is often underneath furniture).
Of course, this could manifest itself in many ways as he continues to mature: maybe he’ll be super busy, always on the go, and commit to tons of extra-curriculars; maybe he’ll focus on a sport, like track, to expend all this energy; or maybe (and most likely, of course) he’ll become a racecar driver.
Or a turtle.
I hesitate to put too much stock in what Jacob’s doing now as a barometer of what’s to come. With the exception of the indisputable fact that his girth and broad, manly shoulders guarantee a football career, whether just pee wee or high school and beyond.
There are dreams, and then there’s reality.