Last week I got to experience an incredible demonstration of the innate human drive to triumph. Gabriel decided he wanted to try climbing up the hardest ladder on our apartment complex' play structure - one he'd only unsuccessfully tried in the past. This time he had a few more months worth of growth in him and was able to get to about the second rung before he got miserably irritated, whimpering, "Mommy, mommy, MOMMY!" I gently coached from my spot perched at the top, coaxing him to try again. The next time he got one rung higher before tears of anger and frustration rolled down his face and the desperate "Mommy, mommy, MOMMY!" whining started. I persuaded him to try again and this time he struggled and moaned and complained and probably farted too, out of sheer exertion... and he did it.
When he stood up safely on board the structure, staring wide-eyed and speechless into my eyes, I could have died and gone to heaven - I was so honored to be there for him, witnessing and validating his achievement. But good thing I didn't because I would have missed the next best part as he excitedly did it over and over again, mastering his new skill. How totally cool. We're wired from the start to try and try again until we succeed. Such vital energy. Such life force. Such joi d'vie.