Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Growing Up Right

I am a fan of the smart and poignant book Your Children Will Raise You.

In its chapter The Birth Year relentlessly poetic Louise Erdrich speaks of her daughter...

It is raw power to go forward to lunge, catching at important arms and hands, to take control of the body, tell it what to do, to leave behind the immobility of babyhood. With each step she swells, her breath goes ragged and her eyes darken in a shine of happiness.... It would seem she has everything she could want -- she is fed, she is carried, she is rocked, put to sleep. But no, walking is the thing, the consuming urge to seize control. She has to walk to gain entrance to the world... She will walk to think, not to think, to leave the body, which is often the same as becoming at one with it. She will walk to ward off anger in its many forms. For pleasure, purpose, or to grieve. She'll walk until the world slows down until her brain lets go of everything behind and until her eyes see only the next step. She'll walk until her feet hurt, her muscles tremble, until her eyes are numb with looking. She'll walk until her sense of balance is the one thing left and the rest of world is balanced, too, and eventually, if we do the growing up right, she will walk away from us.

I post this today for baby son walks, you see. Me, I am more silly than poetic about it.


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6 Comments:

Blogger Mad Hatter said...

Dear sweet lord, that was wonderful! I have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. And your voice? So calm. So not-mom-voice. In all our videos I sound like a babbling, lobotomized freak. You sound mature, nay elegant. Oh and the offer to get out the vacuum was pure comic gold.

Erdrich? Ya, she's great too.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Mad Hatter said...

Oh and half the videos I have ever shot end with the paparazzi grab so ably demonstrated in this video.

6:29 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Wow! Go baby go!
Ours was like that quote - all about walking. Striving, always.

7:31 PM  
Blogger NotSoSage said...

Oh, my heart. It's so bittersweet, that all that we do is readying them for the time that they leave us, isn't it?

He's a man after my Joe's heart, sweeping up after bed time. Beware the curse of the neat freak: can't sleep if the place isn't clean.

And so smart! You mention the vacuum and he heads straight for the wall unit.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Bon said...

he walks! that was priceless, MoWo.

and i think i need to steal some of Erdrich's words for the firsts around here.

5:47 PM  
Blogger LoryKC said...

(Popped over by way of Mary P's site!)

Awesome! I love Erdich!
However, I've never been blessed with one who wants to stay up and SWEEP!
(Did you say sleep in a new way and confuse poor child?) ;)
Maybe I'll get lucky and #3 will be so helpful! ;)

6:38 AM  

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