This is our granddaughter, Willow...one of the few reasons we wonder what in the heck we are doing with this adventure. She is at a stage where she is afraid of finger puppets and pull toys but fascinated with airplanes flying overhead.
There is a book by Kenneth Grahame, Wind in the Willows, that we gave our granddaughter on the occasion of her birth. It contains a dialogue that captures the essence of why we are doing what we are doing:
"This has been a wonderful day! said he, as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again.
"Do you know, I've never been in a boat before in all my life."
"What? cried the Rat, open-mouthed: "Never been in a-you never-well I-what have you been doing, then?"
"Is it so nice as all that? asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.
"Nice? It's the ONLY thing" said the Water Rat solemnly,as he leant forward for his stroke.
"Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
We consider ourselves fortunate that we "get" the Water Rat.