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I don’t think there would anything worse than having a blocked nose and not knowing how to blow it. Or to sneeze and have no idea what it is. To freak out a little because you throw up and don’t know why. It’s tough work being a kid, I think. And that’s just a sick day.

At the moment I watch my nice Arleigh as she progresses through the difference stages of her development. Chatting away, completely understanding us now, moments shy of being able to communicate completely back. It’s pretty darn amazing. I can’t imagine it ever gets less amazing. I watch her learn to talk and play. Watch her almost tip over an entire mini climbing frame in her quest to do things herself. She climbs and falls and pushes and learns. And I think it’s pretty cool. You’d never find me perched atop a climbing frame twice my height and made of plastic. I’d pee my pants.

But for Arleigh it’s just another day at the office. Another day of learning, experiencing and developing. The courage and fearlessness aides this process. I assume. I’m not an expert on such things. And I think it also goes a long way to explaining why we as adults stop progressing. It gets a little real and we pike out. It’s only in rare or extreme circumstances when there ARE no alternatives that we make that next necessary step. When I consider this it makes me wonder about our potential. About what would be possible if we just kept being like Arleigh*?

For me, I think I would be smarter, for sure. I would have learnt a lot of the lessons I just keep butting my head up against. Lessons about determination, commitment and having fun. I would be braver and ride roller coasters. I would probably know how to fly something. Perhaps even have learnt to rock climb. If my fearlessness hadn’t killed me in the process of learning…

I think I would be an elegant communicator who never left awkward silences or said the wrong thing. I would’ve said them all long ago. If I had kept developing I would express my feelings when I needed to instead of squishing them down. I imagine I would be super human. And happy, because I wouldn’t forget to play, to laugh at the small things (like a box snapping shut, hey Arleigh?).

Seriously. Think about it.

 

* And clearly this behavior is not contained to my niece no matter how adorable, advanced and talented I think she is. It’s a kid thing. Across the board I assume.