As I watch my little son, "the boy" as we call him, grow and adapt to his evolving world, I am even more amazed at what must be going on in his head. I can literally see the wheels turning and him trying to make sense of things. I am watching him create mental maps in real time. I am also aware that much of what he creates as a toddler, twaddler, and young child is done so from a limited world perspective and may not fully serve him in adulthood.
I am also aware of the typical hardwiring I, as his father, can download onto him--things like "be a big boy" and "you're OK" when he's hurt or frustrated and crying--and how they can be debilitating (or in the least case, not very helpful) later in life.
I work hard at saying the "right" things and not letting my emotions (which are great) get in the way. I don't always win, but I get better every week. I have to. There's too much at stake not to.