I don't know kids. I have never particularly cared for children, and I have not paid attention to the children of other people, and I do not read ahead in the development books. So nothing has prepared me for how incredible Zoe is.
Eighteen months still sounds babyish to me. If we're still counting in months instead of years she can't be a kid, right? Just a baby. But I am astonished at how much a person she is. She's a real person, and a real member of the family, and she has real thoughts, and emotions, and agendas for how she wants her day to run. I didn't imagine this.
We went for a walk yesterday in the exciting two feet of snow, and it was just like walking with a child should be. She suggested the walk, at 9 in the morning, and we got out her boots and snowpants and mittens and coat, with her narrating the whole process, and headed out into the cold. I watched her learn about footprints, and about what kind of snow she could walk in and what kind made her fall down. I carried her across the park through knee-deep snow to the slide where she learned that sliding in the snow doesn't really work.
On the way back we learned that some dark chunks of ice crush under your foot and some are too big. We observed that some people still have very pretty Christmas decorations up, and that some houses have dogs that bark out the windows. We talked about how some people shovel very well and some people only shovel enough to get out of their houses. We got snow on our mittens and learned that that's what mittens are for. We got home and pulled our winter clothes off and told her Daddy all about our journey.
I never realized that this kind of day could happen this soon. I remember being pregnant. I made Zoe out of my own body. I made her. And now she has ideas and thoughts and plans and mittens. I can't get over how miraculous this experience is, and at the same time how shockingly common. Practically everyone has kids. Are all children this amazing?