Monday, October 17, 2011

Reach

This is where we all begin…

Reach1

 

Reach2

 

Reach3

 

ReachMouth

 

ReachSmiles

But this isn’t where we all end up.

If you’ve observed infants who are just discovering their world, you know that it takes them awhile to master their hand-eye coordination. At four months, Thumper is beginning to reach for the object you place in front of her, but she often overshoots it. With jerky hand movements from her nascent motor skills, results of her attempts are never consistent. Sometimes she gets it. Sometimes she doesn’t. But the thing is, when there is something in front of her, she always tries to reach for it. It doesn’t even occur to her that it might be too difficult or too far.

Her modus operandi: Object in vision. Raise hand to reach. Almost by instinct.

Watching her, I realize it’s really an admirable quality in infants. Their attempts are never deterred by self-doubt. It makes me wonder when that starts to seep in to influence their actions. When they acquire language? When they begin to not just decipher the meaning behind words, but feel the weight of them as well? Like…

You’re too small. Too big. Too short. Too tall. It’s only for boys. It’s just for girls. It’s not for kids. You won’t understand. You won’t get it. It’s too hard. Too complicated. Too cumbersome. Too much work.

How much do these words influence our behavior? Make us second guess ourselves? Hold us back from trying something new, achieving a goal, realizing our dreams?

More importantly, why do we let them?

This is my 200th blog post. My blog is not much different today than what it was when I published my first entry. I had intended to keep it small, to record the growth of my first daughter and my journey in motherhood. But secretly, when I found a larger community of like-minded bloggers who had popular blogs, I began to have bigger dreams. Maybe I could grow my readership. Maybe it would be wildly successful. Maybe I could even make a living out of it. Maybe I’d become a writer!

But in reality, I was afraid. The seeds of doubt peppered my vision. What if I can’t? What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail?

And so I convince myself that this is it. This is all I want it to be – a little blog to capture memories of and for my family. I figured if I don’t have a lofty goal, I won’t fall. Right? But here’s the thing: I’m also not much further now than where I was when I first started. And I’m not sure this is where I want to be either.

I guess we could learn a thing or two from babies. Object in vision. Raise hand to reach.

Because if we don’t, how will we ever know how far we can really go?

* * *

This is my 200th blog post, dedicated to Thumper, who may not be the reason why I started this blog, but she’s certainly why I’m still at it, and to My Guy, whose own attempts to reach are a constant inspiration to me.

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