The Unfolding of a Life

Sleeping

A photo posted by Kojishi Dae (@kojishidae) on

Peatuk is currently sleeping in our bed. It’s his usual position these days: Arms splayed, feet relaxed this way and that. He takes up a lot of room, and only some of it is because of the two centimeters he gained in height this past month.

When babies enter the world, they are these strangely curled up creatures. From the adorable way they ball their fist around anything that touches their palms to the legs that are constantly held up to their bellies, they are always tense and always folded into themselves, away from the world.

It is amazing how quickly they grow from infants into toddlers, and how like an actual person a toddler is.

Peatuk no longer curls into himself. Even when he sleeps on his stomach, his legs and arms no longer rest beneath him in the standard child’s pose. Now, only a year and a half into his life, he is already reaching out to everything that he can touch, and his need to reach and explore continues while he is sleeping.

How fast it all goes by makes being a parent slightly scary. Well, that along with all of the expert assessments that add up to, “No matter which way you are parenting, you are doing it wrong.”

Learning to speak. Learning to cooperate with others (or heck, just interact with them in a civil manner). They seem like such basic, meaningless trials every day. But that’s just the thing. They are basic.The basic little blocks that will contribute to his personality and outlook on life in the future. The basics that will let him keep reaching for years to come. Certainly not meaningless. Now are the days when he is learning about social interaction. Somehow it suddenly seems much more important than graduating at the top of his class 18 years from now.

His life is unfurling before me at a breakneck pace and sometimes it is all I can do to hold on and make a wish for him as it passes me by.

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