Toddlers Try

My son is fifteen months old. He likes to dance. He’ll push the same button on the same musical toy a dozen times, swaying back and forth to the music. It reminds me of middle- and high-school dances, how I wasn’t any better a dancer at fourteen than he is now. (Or at thirty-four, for that matter.)

My kid’s not better than me at a lot of things (yet), but there’s one thing he’s way, way better than me at: Trying. This seems to me to be the thing that kids are best at. Trying to walk, falling down, getting up, trying again. Trying to stab a piece of fruit with a fork, pushing it off the tray, trying again with the next piece.

Adults are terrible at trying. We make excuses, we procrastinate, we fear failure. We have a lot more experience not trying. We get really good at not trying.