Watching a person’s brain grow right before your eyes is an incredible thing. Some of us remind ourselves as often as we can that life is a wonderous thing, but to actually see this new little human really WONDER at things is… well… wonderful! I’m watching her learn so much, but really, she’s teaching me a lot about life.
I had this moment, when I was 18 years old. I has spent the summer after high school in a drama program in Oxford, England. I was the youngest person in the program – never had I taken a sip of alcohol, kissed a boy (a straight one anyway – oh the adventures of being a theatre kid!), or really, looked up from the life in front of me to see much beyond my very nose. Something changed in me those 7 weeks in England, maybe it was being free from an oppressive home for the first time in my life (woo hoo! I could wear spaghetti strap tees! I had a cell phone! I was wholly UNSUPERVISED!), but something made me look. Up. It was like suddenly the sky burst open at the seams and I was swimming in the world. THE WORLD! Clouds and shards of sunlight and kind gestures from strangers, trees and birds and food and mountains all came careening toward me as if I had never lived! They say that when you fall in love, colors are more vivid, music more sweet, that you stop and smell the roses more. Well, I was falling in love with life. The veil of teenage I-know-everything and angst was lifted in a blast of freedom and I felt more alive than ever.
I returned home at the end of that summer. One day, I walked to the end of the drive way to get the mail, and I realized, after living here my whole life THAT I WAS SURROUNDED BY MOUNTAINS! WHAT??! I looked all around me, and thought, where did all these mountains come from!?! I stood at the end of the driveway, dumbfounded, for about an hour. I know. Ridiculous. I told this story to my Huz and his reaction was, your brain is strange. But that’s life when you live in a tunnel. Which honestly, I have the tendency to do.
That tendency doesn’t have to decide my fate. And I was reminded by that today, when this little half me/half Husbone looked down and discovered her feet. She just stared down at them, watching her toes flex and curl, for 30 minutes – a looooooong time when the span of your life stretches over a mere 7 weeks. You see, they had always been there, but she was too preoccupied with other things, like eating a lot, and growing her brain. I certainly don’t have the excuses that she does, but she doesn’t live in a tunnel. She lives in the wide open world, and I’m leaving my tunnel to join her there.