Rampant Authenticity and Wide-eyed Shameless Vulnerability

Watching my 15 month-old nephew exploring his world with his recently acquired bow-legged toddler’esque swagger is quite the insight into the human experience.

In all its dancing, burbling, iPhone-eating, window-licking, cat-tail-pulling, sloppy-kissing, eggy-handed, giggle-filled, cry-filled glory.

The thing about being 15 months old I guess, is at that age we have no filters yet.  There is no veneer of sophistication, no fear of rejection, and no pretense to suggest that we are experiencing and feeling anything other than what we are experiencing and feeling.

So where we are at, is what the world sees.  And we’re not worldly wise enough yet at that stage to care what the world sees.  Who is the world anyway?  This blue crayon looks far more interesting and tasty than some silly boring old ‘world’.

Apparently at 15 months old the development of said filters – to process situations more ‘rationally’, to express emotion in a more measured way, and so on – is still in process.

Hence the widely acknowledged phenomenon of the ‘terrible twos’.

I’m not a mommy, so I haven’t had to live day in and day out with this phenomenon.  But as a hopelessly besotted (ya think?) aunty and galpal of many a much-loved mommy, I’ve seen enough of it to know it’s real, it’s normal, and it is (thank goodness) a phase that will pass.

Of course it is a relief when it eventually passes.  But there is something in this phase that I find both fearsome and beautiful, and perhaps – in the midst of the tears and the tantrums and the vocal performances in public places – it may not always be so obvious to us.

There’s a kind of rampant authenticity and wide-eyed shameless vulnerability that comes with discovering things for the very first time, with feeling things for the very first time, with being surprised and delighted (and yes, sometimes not so delighted) for the very first time.

That kind of rampant authenticity and wide-eyed shameless vulnerability is the kind of thing that is gonna get you loved.  Loved truly, madly and deeply (well, by your aunty at least).

It’s been a while (OK, when I say ‘a while’ I mean – it’s been, erm, never) since rampant authenticity and wide-eyed shameless vulnerability got me loved truly, madly and deeply.

What happened to our rampant authenticity and wide-eyed shameless vulnerability?  Have we all hidden it away from the world to ensure that we’re not mistaken for crazy people?  Or does it truly die and no longer exist after the terrible twos?

Sometimes, just once, I think it would be interesting if my rampantly authentic and wide-eyed shamelessly vulnerable inner non-crazy toddler came out to play, just to see what would happen.

Minus the tantrums, of course 🙂

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