Putting in

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

Reaching and taking, from us, from a basket, from the shelf has been going on in various forms for months.

A few weeks ago there were the first hesitant attempts to put things in, and then last week she began giving to us. And in these last days, an explosion of purposeful collection and sharing.

Who has really delved into the differences involved in these two gestures, giving and taking? What fundamental piece of human social life has sharpened into clarity for her?

The significance of these developments seems so huge, and yet I’ve never come across a mention of them in all of the child development I’ve read and studied.

To have your child take something you offer her is exciting; to watch her unload her toys from her basket a thrill. . . but to have her carefully collect the clothespins and put them on top of the chair and scoot around with them all?

To take the clean, wet diaper or the morsel of food offered you from her hand?

And the two together, gathering the acorns at the park and carefully passing each one to you?

Those are beautiful, heart-stopping moments


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