Yesterday we went out to lunch. As we were sitting there, Daniel and I started talking about how big Juniper seems all of a sudden. Not so much size-wise, but more in the way she interacts with the world. She is moving from just figuring out herself, to figuring out how she fits in the world around her. When she was smaller, she would happily play independently for very long periods of time, regardless of where we were in the house. Now, she wants to be near us, she wants to know where we are, and, usually, she wants to be right next to us. She still plays independently, but for shorter periods of time, and she is more distracted by what is going on around her. I think she now realizes how big the world is and how small she is. She is more conscious of her need to feel safe and secure. She understands that we provide security, and she notices when we aren't right there.
I know this sounds a little out there, but I think (and I'm pretty sure Maria Montessori supports me on the this one) that she is going through a cosmic change. She's now been out 9+months, longer than she was in. Each passing minute, this world is more familiar to her than the one she knew when she was inside of me. The invisible thread that connects us is getting longer and finer as she moves into becoming a more independent being. This is where separation anxiety comes in to play. She is struggling with her new freedom and independence. She understands more about the world around her, she can (sort of) crawl and move around where she wants to, she is discovering limits.
All of this compounds to mean that my little baby isn't so little anymore. She has always been alert, but she takes in everything more completely now. She takes joy in new experiences, not just because they are novel, but because of the things that are happening. The cold of snow on her face, the way the top of a hanger spins around, the air from the heating vents blowing her hair, the feel of snow melt dripping from the roof on her fingers. The world is so vast and scary, but at the same time full of marvels. It's exciting. It's exhausting. It's pretty cosmic.