Sunday, July 27, 2008

Still no time for a "real" post

I've been delinquent with my posts--I've had family here for consecutive weekends (my older brother last week, my parents this week) and thus have been a bit distracted and unable to think of something substantive to post about. And now I'm off for a week's vacation in VA.

Although not children's book related, I thought I'd just share a small observation I had while on vacation. Over Fourth of July weekend I attended a family reunion (my mom's side of the family) on a Mexican Baja Cruise: 49 people, 3 generations, 14 children aged 7 and under. It was an incredible time. I tried rock climbing for the first time on the top deck, went swimming in the salt water tour, stepped on Mexican land for the first time in my life (despite living in Southern CA for so long), and ate myself silly.
In the dining hall, there are huge port windows with a little ledge which were perfect for kids to sit/stand on, although I'm sure that wasn't the intended purpose. If you looked out, you saw ocean everywhere, and I decided to pick two kids up to take a look: Owen and Madeline, both around 2 years old. Madeline loved it. She laughed and cooed and pointed, and seemed to try to step onto the window to go out in the water. Owen's lower lip started to tremble and his eyes got a terrified look in them and he started to cry, so I quickly lifted him down. The stark difference made me think about personalities, and how much of who we are is innate. I wondered if Madeline would grow up fearless, and Owen more tentative, or if their life experiences would change them gradually. It'll be interesting to observe as they grow older. And it was also interesting to me to hear their parents view--Madeline's mom fretted that her fearlessness would get her in trouble--that she would put herself in danger. 

I should ask my parents which child I most resembled. I remember being fairly daring as a kid (I loved climbing trees, swimming in the ocean, and wasn't afraid of heights), but I also know I was afraid of fireworks and spiders. And I feel that in some senses, I've gotten more fearless as I've grown older, but in other aspects of my life, more tentative.

How about you? How were you as a kid compared to now? And for you parents out there, do you want your kids to be fearless or cautious?


Lisa Yee said...

I was much shorter than I am now.

I'd love for my kids to be cautiously fearless. Um, was that an option?

BTW, Madeline is adorable.

Libby Koponen said...


I think when I was a child parents thought about these kinds of things a lot less than they do now. I was definitely fearless as a kid, in ways that were probably incredibly annoying to all the adults around me.

Once when we were visiting my grandparents in New York, my parents went to my crib and I wasn't there. They looked throughout the apt. -- no Libby. Then, my father remembered how fascinated I'd been from the view from the roof the night before; this was before I could talk, or walk, but he remembered me stretching my arms out to the moon.

They ran up, and there I was, crawling around happily....this was an old NY building and the roof had no walls.

I have definitely grown more cautious as I've grown older. If I'd had children, I'd want them to be courageous but have common sense and good judgement, too.

Great post, Alvina, thanks!