The very first toy chosen by Randall himself.

Randall is a good planner, for he always remembers to pick a toy to take along with him before he goes out, or gets ready to be changed, or is given a shower. The choice of the toys depends on the type of the activity. For example, if it’s for a shower, he would usually find a cup or a watering can; or if for a walk, he’d grab his cars – an all-time favorite. But this morning, he considered something different. As soon as mom got him ready for school, he jumped onto the couch to get his new toy bear which we had bought him two days before. Unfortunately though, mom and dad didn’t allow him to carry this bear to school since he would barely be able to walk while holding such a large “animal” in front of himself. And as had been expected, he immediately burst into tears and couldn’t be comforted even if mom tried offering him his cars as an exchange.

Now I am recalling how sweet he was this morning when he picked up the bear and kissed it, thinking contently that he was gonna have this new buddy as his company on his way to school. I also remember how two days ago he stood in front of that shelf of plush toys, pointed to it and said the word “bear”. He gave back to me the yogurt pouch he had been drinking from as a way to free up his hands for something new. A few minutes later, he was walking in the street with a bear that was almost his own size. It was funny to watch.

So I realize that he might be transitioning from unconscious fondness of people and objects to slightly more conscious preference, and that it is just as amazing to watch a child grow cognitively as it is to observe their emotional development. One, as a baby, begins with an attachment that mostly comes from physical needs, and it gradually turns into a conscious affection as he grows older. And this affection matures with time as well, by getting more concrete and more determined. Then after experiencing a few relationships, either satisfactory or frustrating, he will start to know that love takes trust, appreciation, devotion and sometimes the courage to quit for good. And eventually, if one day, he becomes a parent himself, he might learn that love means to give unconditionally.

Being a mother, I feel so lucky to be part of this wonderful journey of my little one, starting from point zero. And just like those precious moments when he first rolled over, took his first steps, spoke his first words, it doesn’t matter how well they did it or how soon they started, it is those tiny little changes and improvements that always fill us with amazement.

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