Yes, I watch The View. Moving on.
I don't know that I have heard such a clear and honest articulation of childhood. Children are brave. Any mother who has watched her baby take those first trepidatious steps can attest to his fortitude. Determined with his shaky, unreliable feet he fixes his attention, puts his fear behind him and walks. Falls. And invariably, at some point, tries again. Adults don't usually have that courage. Children are on their own in a big and mysterious world.
I love watching RJ explore. She takes delight in things that to me have lost their luster. This morning she was dancing and laughing at her wire hanger percussion and I was blessed with a peek into Wonder. That is just one of the gifts she gives me daily. Because she is an Explorer. On par with Lewis & Clark, she is discovering a completely unknown land. She has adventures in kitchen hideaways and toilet bowls. She scales mountains of armchairs and pillows. She boldly approaches the Wild Beast with an unreasonable hope that he will, for the first time, enjoy her company as much as she enjoys his. She is a Pioneer. She is charting territory for her future brothers and sisters (and I think she will be a great Expedition Leader).
And one day she will leave. I also love Jamie Lee's declaration of independence for our children. Our culture is so intent on keeping the young young that so often parents fail to raise adults. And she is so right: if we do our jobs, separation will be mutually beneficial and anticipated. As much as I thoroughly enjoy every second we get to spend with her, RJ is somebody's wife in the making. She is in her education for motherhood.
And I will not shield my brave little ones from this: it will take courage.