Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tabula rasa

Nights like tonight, when I have time to sit with Violet, I can’t help but be overwhelmed at this empty vessel in my arms, this blank slate. Linda and I will fill her with lessons intentional and otherwise, they will intermingle with whatever ingredients of personality are inherently her own, and some unknowable amalgam will emerge as our daughter. I’m dying to meet that person, to get to know her mannerisms, to hear how she laughs or better yet, to know her sense of humor. How will she look standing in the snow or opening presents on Christmas morning? Will she be slow or quick to anger, cry, forgive? I know I have some influence over the answers to these questions, but no one can tell me for sure – no matter what anyone says – how much influence I have. Still, it’s a little scary. So, for now, it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy this perfect child that I haven’t messed up yet.

24 days old


  1. You and Linda will NOT mess up Violet. It's nature and nurture. Surely, you will nurture in the most wonderful of ways......then there is nature, which in parts makes her the individual that she is. That's what I've had to learn the most. Easy going Lillian -vs- high energy Sylvia. You will learn to love her and deal with her unique qualities to the best of your abilities. As a teacher you know that each child is unique and as a teacher you monitor and adjust to meet the needs of each individual student. You will both do the same for Violet. Keep up the good work!!

  2. We were just watching family videos from two years ago, and we were laughing because all of Carter's mannerisms were exactly the same- only placed in a two year old's body. And Penn's hysterical giggle has been going on since he was just sitting up. It was amazing to realize how quickly those traits are set!

  3. Anonymous - Thank you for your faith in us! It's that nature vs. nuture question that keeps me wondering - there seems to be a different proportion in everyone - what will the mix in Violet look like?

    Anne - Thank you!

    Amy BG - I keep wondering if any of Linda or my mannerisms will show up in Violet, and how strange it will be when we see them for the first time. Do you see you or your husband in your kids' actions?