My little human

I’m officially captivated by the due diligence with which my daughter works to extract things from containers. It’s with the persistence I might take in analyzing a dataset or my husband might take looking for a bed and breakfast. It’s the persistence of a human on a mission to do – to examine, to analyze, to discover, to create. 

Aria has her own cabinet in the kitchen and several other shelves and cabinets are stocked with Aria-friendly items. Her own sets of plates, bowls, and cups. Her own measuring cups and spoons. Board books she can open, turn, and chew on. Boxes of  sealed Lara bars or granola bars. 
One by one she removes each item. Examines them, bangs them against each other, thrusts them triumphantly in the air. Last night she spent a half hour trying to get each food pouch out of the thin opening in a box. She had boundless determination. She didn’t stop until all six were removed. 

 And with each determined quest, she refines her skills. Her human toolbox of sight and touch and fine motor skills. And the more subtle skills of looking more closely at things and making connections where none existed before. 

Two days ago I watched in surprise as she reached into her toy box and very deliberately pulled out a drum stick for the drum she got for Christmas. Then she pounded on the drum with merry zeal. I didn’t even know she’d connected the two, despite my own delight in making music with the drum and sticks myself. 

Right now she is discovering the art of splashing for the first time.

It all makes me wonder what it means to be human. I remember learning as a kid that they once thought use of tools made us human, but then discovered certain animals make and use basic tools too. 

Is being human about working? Is it about discovery or problem-solving, creating, making art, or understanding the art of others? Is it about forming relationships with others and with ourselves?


 Is being human about refining our capacities, physical, mental, and spiritual? Mastering those parts of ourselves that resonate most with the passions our soul? 

Does the process of becoming human happen at birth? At two years or fifteen? Does it take a lifetime to truly become human?

Aria was born with the spirit of discovery. She’s developed the joy of persistence. She’s beginning to internalize music and dance. From what I can tell, she knows nothing of art or creation.

There’s still plenty of time for that 🙂

I foresee a delightful new phase of life ahead for us as we approach Aria’s first birthday in a couple of weeks. A few small steps and some giant leaps towards becoming human. Towards becoming what it means to be Aria. 



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