The Secret Life of Children

My children sometimes leave souvenirs of their independent endeavors. I started paying attention to these clues the day I found puppets behind the couch, but hadn't been invited to a puppet show. I have found books in Avery's room with bookmarks half way through, books I didn't even know she was reading. I found this knitting in progress the other day. I taught Avery to knit several months back, but I just taught her to cast-on last week. She cast-on, pulled it off, cast-on, pulled it off. It was so much fun, she didn't want to stop. I was very proud to find this WIP.

Aidan is into boobie traps right now. He reminds me of Data from the Goonies. I have opened up his bedroom door to find the door knob wrapped with rope, which is in turn tied to his bunk bed. The backyard is at times a criss cross of jump ropes tied to strategically placed bikes, scooters, strollers. Thank goodness he hasn't seen Home Alone.

Aidan sometimes fesses up to his independent activities, like last night when he told us he removed some fence boards from the neighbor's fence, or today when he told me he had been "knitting" with my sewing machine. After checking my sewing area for damage (broken needle), I returned to find my children in the middle of activities that I never would have believed if I hadn't seen. Aidan was sitting on the kitchen counter with a knife and cutting board slicing sweet peppers for himself and the neighbor boy. Avery and her friend had done a costume change and were watching Shakira's hips swinging away on Yahoo Videos. She is computer savvy beyond her years.

From the second our children are born, we are aware of their every breath, move, peep. Time passes and they grow at a startling rate, as does their independence. It is a marvelous and frightening thing. I've been told by friends and relatives to just wait. It was always our goal to raise independent thinkers, capable of independent action. Self-starters, if you will. I just never knew how bittersweet it would be to watch these qualities take root and sprout. As the ratio of their secret lives to the lives they share with me increases, I will continue to pay close attention to those subtle clues they leave behind, those brief glimpses of who they are becoming on their own.


  1. I remember when Cole went through his boobie trap phase. You could not open a handle without it being tied to something else. I recall stepping around traps without breaking a stride while friends who had not yet had kids watched in amazement. . . those were the days, the boobie trap days.

  2. This blog brought tears to my eyes. My children have grown into independent adults and most of their daily lives are unknown to me now, yet I remember the days when the subtle hints were there of the "other lives" and I never knew how bittersweet those memories would one day be.


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email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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