Thursday, July 27, 2006

Identity


Watching a child grow is really watching her discover every little thing that makes up her world. Who knows when babies become aware of and comfortable with those faces that keep placing themselves in their lines of vision. Soon they'll smile wider when they see their mother or father or sibling. When they discover their hands, they are as fascinated with them as they are with a rattle or mobile, but I doubt early on they suspect that their hands are a part of them. Kate has recently discovered her feet, and enjoys relaxing with one or both feet in her mouth. When I hold her in front of the mirror, she gets a surprised look, as if to say, "Hey, another baby and her daddy are here!"

Clara has recently crossed into that kind of self-awareness that excites a little one, the kind that makes her stop every once in a while and point to herself and say, "Clara!" It's not just a matter of her learning her name; she is announcing her presence. Imagine spending two years amazed at the wonders of the world only to discover that not only are you an observer, you are actually a part of it! When we look at family pictures and name family members, Clara gets the biggest, almost sheepish, smile when she points to herself. She not only loves these people but she is included among them, a profound realization. Some people take a long long time to figure out just who they are. Watch Clara stand confidently while pointing at herself saying "Clara" and you're sure she knows who she is.

My favorite identity story came from Scott Fitzgibbon, whose absolutely beautiful 4-year old daughter Addison asked him why his friends called him "Fitz." He told her it was because his last name is Fitzgibbon. Her eyes got big and she excitedly pointed at herself and said, "My last name is Fitzgibbon!"


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My brother Chris and I will be on the road for the next week as we check out some ballparks along the east coast. On the itinerary are the Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and NY Yankee stadiums. While I will miss the girls this will be a much needed week without diapers. See you when I get back.

By the way, it seems the blogger program has adopted a no Megan policy. Twice she has tried to post without anything happening. I swear I have nothing to do with it.

2 comments:

Michelle Etter said...

First off, that picture is SOOO Joel Bittle's kid. I imagine you have a hat just like that?

Second, wait until Clara doesn't just look sheepishly at her own picture... and instead starts demanding more of herself. Andrew is now insisting to look at pictures of our family on the computer. Just the other day we killed 20 minutes by going through all pictures for the last 6 mos. However, the kicker is that he would say "NO MORE BABY JUSTIN" and insist that we skip Justin's pictures to get to more of him.

Narcissus?

Joel Bittle said...

A hat like that? That IS my hat. Anything I leave around she tries to put on, as she's doing with the shoes. I just tightened the hat so it fit her.

Chris and I are currently in Pittsburgh, where we had for lunch a sandwich from Primanti Bros. that included burger, coleslaw and fries - all between the bread! Thanks Dave for the suggestion!