Joyce and I love watching our two-year-old grandson, Owen, just as much as we love spending time with our first grandson, almost eight-year-old Skye. When they were new babies, their dependence was obvious. Because Owen is younger, I will use him as an example. He would not have survived for long without the nurturing and protection of our daughter, Mira, and her now-husband, Ryan; they got married in our home last month!
This is the first stage of life. Clear and simple, without even a hint of independence. Every baby is born into this world completely dependent. No question.
Then came one of Owen’s first sentences, “Owee can do.” And along with that sentence came the assertion of his independence: feeding himself with a spoon, climbing up on the couch by himself, building something with his blocks, or drinking from his spill-proof cup without anyone’s help.
That’s what I’m calling this second stage of life. It gives every appearance of independence. But is it true independence? It’s the ego’s attempt to mimic autonomy. But is it true autonomy? I have to say no.