Parenting Delights

Last weekend, my dad was here, so we went tide-pooling, and, for the first time ever in her life, Sophie squished wet sand between her bare toes. She got so wide-eyed & enthusiastic, wiggling her little feet, then plunging her fingers and then whole body into the sand, that it makes me remember how amazing wet sand really feels. She’s getting adept at communicating her feelings: love of wetsand, fascination with birds on telephone wires, triumphant discovery of cat-toys that I haven’t adequately hidden from her, horror at the stingray at the aquarium but mesmerization with the tropical fish… She is so aware, alert, & constantly changing that she’s like a meditator, already.

At her baby shower, people wrote messages to her on pieces of cloth that I sewed into a quilt. “Play,” someone wrote on her quilt, and “Enjoy.” “Sometimes life is more about the journey than the destination.” “Laugh often and love much…” (That last one is a quote from Emerson.) The amazing thing is that Sophie already knows this advice. There are only a few squares on this quilt that she doesn’t yet embody. “Plant trees. Strive to leave the world slightly better than you found it,” says one square, and — my favorite, written by my wise colleague Wayne Hobson — “Remember that you have free will but you are not alone.”  She’ll grow into those, I hope, but for now, already, she inherently possesses much of the wisdom & delight that we wished for her in this quilt.

“I have always been regretting that I am not as wise as the day I was born,” says one of her onesies, quoting Thoreau, in another gift from a colleague, Pam. Soph doesn’t fit into this onesie yet, but the sentiment fits.


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