Of all our children it is our youngest, Kara, who is the most fearless.
I think some of it comes from the fact that she is the youngest of three. Two older brothers to look up to and think, “Anything you can do, I can do too.” Parents who are more relaxed and less concerned about monitoring her every move in the way we did with the boys. And the fact that, at not quite four years old, she hasn’t yet reached the stage where she really understands fear.
Even so, she is willing to hurl herself straight into any new situation with a smile on her face and a determined set to her jaw. I’m not sure it’s actually physically possible to do both simultaneously, but that’s what she does. Whether it is launching herself into a new play area designed for older kids or a play-date where she is the youngest child, Kara’s approach to life is to leap in feet first and take a new situation by the scruff of the neck where her brothers are more cautious.
Nothing sums up Kara as well as this photo. It was taken in the picturesque city of Lucca in Tuscany in 2013, when she was just 15 months old and barely walking.
We had just finished lunch and, while the grown-ups were flagging down the waiter with the universal signing-a-cheque gesture. Kara decided she was going to start sightseeing herself. Impatient, she set off down a random narrow street to investigate further into the unknown without even once looking back to check whether I was following her.
She’s been striking out to explore the world around her ever since. In truth, I adore this characteristic. I’m less concerned about her fearlessness and sense of adventure than I am about my ability to keep up with her!
But what matters most is knowing that she’s never running away from something – only towards it, hurtling headlong to discover all the mysteries and wonders that this life has to offer. Love you, K.