I wish I could remember what it was like to be a baby or a young child. To feel my mother hold me close or hear her sing me to sleep. Of course, I only want to remember the good things about babyhood, and not the scary feeling of waking up alone in the dark, or the frustration of not being able to communicate. The closest I can come to remembering those very early months of my life is to observe babies through my grown-up eyes. And there are a few things I’ve learned from those little guys.
Babies give life everything they have.
They eat and drink with gusto. When they laugh, they light up a room. When they cry, the sound carries for miles. And when they give themselves over to sleep, they become little boneless heaps, completely one with whatever surface (vertical or horizontal) they’ve fallen asleep on. If we put that much energy into what we do, imagine what we could accomplish.
And the world is at peace – and then they wake up ready to go. Enough said.
To babies, everything is important.
When they see that bottle coming towards them, they are focused. To them, losing a raisin is equivalent to losing a diamond ring. They are in tune with their bodies – hunger, pain, sensitivity to heat or cold or soiled diapers – and they don’t mind letting the world know about it. What’s important to babies becomes important to those that love and cherish them. Respecting how others feel, even if we don’t feel the same way, can bring peace to our world.
Babies don’t give up.
It takes practice and working their little muscles before babies can roll over. They have to concentrate and experiment to figure out which body parts to move in order to crawl. They fall, a lot, when they’re learning to walk. And when they finally master a few steps, they trip and fall some more. But they just keep trying, over and over. Imagine what would happen if babies gave up learning to talk. There would be no verbal communication in the world. Where is our determination? Where is our courage to try?
Everything is new and exciting to babies.
Of course, the whole world is new to babies, because it is. Colors, sounds, smells, tastes. Everything. And their wide-open eyes, kicking feet, and delighted squeals show how they feel. It’s been said too many times to count, that we need to see the world from the eyes of a child. How much more exciting and fulfilling life would be if we could only relearn how (or let go) to do so.
Babies thrive on attention.
They love being held and snuggled. They love music, your soft voice singing them to sleep, and the joyous sound of laughter. When you smile, they learn to smile back. The need for love, security, peace, and respect are things we never outgrow.
Babies don’t care what they look like – or what you look like.
Some babies are chubby and dimpled, some are thin, many are bald (or mostly so). But they’re all precious and beautiful and worthy of love. Just like you and I.
What have babies taught you about life?