One of my first posts was on the need to slow down and enjoy life that is happening right in front of me, so on Sunday we went to a church picnic at a local farm. This was a small gathering–we attend a small church, and naturally not everyone came to the picnic–but I’m always amazed at how Sam responds to people outside of the family.
Sam is always happy to interact with other people. He loves to be held by new people, talk to them, smile at them, and play with them. I suspect he gets that from his mom, because that’s certainly not how I am! I typically stay very reserved around new people, or even not-so-new people, simply because that’s my personality.
In college I had several class discussions about the “nature vs. nurture” debate, in conjunction with Locke’s Tabula Rasa, John B. Watson’s theories, or even in a literature class when we discussed Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson. Throughout my life I have been a “nurture” devotee, but since Sam’s birth I can’t help but reconsider my beliefs.
Sam simply looks like an extrovert at 4 months old. Of course, personality changes over time and he might turn out to be completely different, but this seems like an inborn trait. I suppose this is just another example of the way our perspectives change as life goes on–maybe a bit of “nurturing” that modifies our own nature.
I don’t think this is a bad thing at all–I’m glad he loves to spend time with other people and that he’s as happy to spend time with non-family members as family members.
Of course, there was a lot more than just interpersonal interaction at the picnic–there was a farm full of animals as well! Samuel’s still a bit young for a petting zoo, but we still walked around to look at goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, rabbits, peacocks, and fish. I thought Samuel might enjoy watching them, based on how funny he finds our cat, but he was mostly uninterested.
Despite this lack of interest, I enjoyed seeing the animals, and watching the other young children at the farm reminded me of how much we still have to look forward to in the future. I have no doubt that within the next few years going to a farm like that will be incredibly fun for everyone, but most of all Samuel.
Samuel has so much more to discover in life, and I am so glad I get to be involved with the discovery process. After all, a front-row seat is nice, but being on the stage and engaged in the process is so much more fun than anything else.

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2 thoughts on “Picnics

  1. It could also just be the stage he is at in his babyhood. Babies go through a very social period if I’m remembering correctly. Right now Xavier will smile and coo at most people if they smile and coo at him enough, though neither Rob nor I are extroverted. It concerns Rob to some extent. He’s told me “You need to teach Xavier ‘stranger danger’ because he’ll let any woman hold him!” Now, I have noticed when shopping with him and people come up to coo over him he’ll look at them warily until I invite him to smile some, but then he’s all smiles. I do think that children are a mix of both nature and nurture, but it will be interesting to see how our kids end up with our nurturing. 🙂

  2. […] I talked about how we went on a picnic, and how that was a good experience for me and Samuel.  Since then we visited family in Tennessee, […]

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