Last night I sat for a while with an 11 month old baby in my lap. He sat calmly staring into my eyes for a long time- searching my face with his little fingers and then taking hold of my nose as if it were my hand. He seemed to have his own inner stillness while he studied my face and it amazed me. The memory of it even now calms me and simultaneously reminds me of the last living moments I had with my daughter.
What do babies know that we do not? What we know may be summed up in the vast amounts of information and stimulation that they have not yet experienced. Everything is right now. Need, joy, hunger, want, adventure, intimacy, sleep…..
Eventually they will learn the complexities, they will process what is big and confusing, they will chase after what is exciting and delicious. They will discover how much power they have and yet how little control.
Staring into the eyes of such a brand new person, all of the assumed expectations I put on myself dissolve. All of the broken ways of relating, fears of disappointing, hopes of impressing… those are all silent and I shrink down into the happy size of a baby in his red and white striped footy pajamas or the diapered perfection of my 12 hour old little girl. Nothing erases or tarnishes these moments and nothing keeps them from existing right now when I need a little stillness and calm.
Just like a toddler I careen through emotions and wants but, like a baby, I hope to look deep into the eyes of my Father and find the stillness of being Present and not alone.