andres marrugo

A Brave New World: The Joy of Discovery

This post is in fact a Day One entry. I treat my Day One journal as a sort of personal blog. A blog with a readership of one – at least in the present. What I mean to say is that, for the most part, I write about my life and for my kids, which are too young to read. I hope they read this in some distant future. I think that the things I might forget are probably the things they’ll want to know about. That is why I write.

Occasionally I like to share and entry with my wife, which now Day One makes it so easy by offering the export to PDF option (click here to see what the pdf looks like). Day One is an awesome app which inevitably has made me write more, reflect upon my thoughts and experiences both personal and with the people close to me. It has enabled something which I had lost, having conversations with myself, past and present, which I believe is part of being and feeling alive.

I’ve been trying to teach Alejandro how to go down the stairs for several months now. For the most part it’s been an unfruitful endeavor, and not because he doesn’t want to go down the stairs; quite the contrary. He loves going down (or trying to go down) but walking right up on his two feet, like he sees everyone else doing it.

Just about every time I tried to show him how to slide his little butt, step by step, to go down safely, he would hurry down the stairs unafraid of falling. After a couple of months of no progress whatsoever I gave up, he can crawl up the stairs, but to go down I have to grab him while he pretends to go down like a grown-up.

Today that was different. I took him out to a nearby park so he could play outside in the sun. After riding his tricycle for about ten minutes he started to wander about in the park. Most of the times he wanders erratically, like going with the flow; chasing whatever is in his sight: a pigeon, a rock, a ball or another kid.

After a while he began to play going up and – with my help – down some stairs in the park. For him it was quite fun, for me a bit stressing because he can’t quite sense the danger in playing around stairs.

After several tries he – out of pure accident – stumbled upon a solution to go down the stairs in a fairly safe way. Sliding on his buttocks. He doesn’t speak yet, however I could sense in his eyes the satisfaction for having made a significant discovery, another way of doing things not known to him before.

I’m not making an argument for implying that he has a deep thought process like an adult, I know he doesn’t. Yet that feeling of true discovery was as vivid in his eyes as I see it in adults. I would say it is even more powerful, because he doesn’t feel shame in expressing his feelings. He has no reason whatsoever to hide his ignorance. His discovery is genuine, as are his feelings.