Not my four-year old baby, my four-month old baby. My first baby screamed so much and so often that the only thing I learned from him was self control. I’m talking about my “normal” baby. And you guys don’t have to be a mom or a dad to be able to relate to the point I am going to make. If you have ever spent more than 10 minutes around a baby, you’re going to get my drift. If we look at the way a baby engages with us, and the way we engage with babies, we can learn a lot. We can learn how simple life can, and is supposed to, be…
Babies can’t talk and they love to listen.
Hang around a baby, and talk gibberish to him he will stare into your eyes, examine your mouth, hang on every noise you make, and, most importantly, smile. Best of all, he doesn’t say anything back to you, but there is never any doubt in your mind as to whether or not he heard you. You know that baby heard you, and loved every minute of hearing you. So let’s learn from that. I know you think I’m going to say put down your phone and listen. But it is more than that. We need to really listen, the way babies do. We need to focus on what our friend or husband or wife is really saying and not what we think he/she is saying. We need to at least act like we are glad to be listening. Because, I know we all want the same thing in return.
Babies don’t care how you look, or who you are, or what you can or can’t do.
I’ve never seen a baby judge. A baby will listen to anyone. A baby will smile at anyone. A baby will hug anyone. So should we.
Babies don’t need a three-ring circus for entertainment.
I’m guilty of this just as much as the next person. We always want more stuff! If I just had one more bottle of nail polish, then I will be satisfied. If I just had one more video game, then that will be enough. Just one more pair of shoes, just one more outfit, just one more blah blah blah. Give a baby one set of keys and they are happy for life.
We need to have unlimited compassion for others just as we have unlimited compassion for babies.
When a baby is crying, we don’t think, “Are you kidding me baby, are you seriously crying because you want to be picked up?? Do you even know what I am going through right now??? You have it so much better. Sorry. I’m not picking you up.” No, we don’t think that. We think, “Oh, poor baby, let me hug you and love you and make you feel better.” So maybe there isn’t one bottle of compassion or empathy available for us to use. Maybe we don’t have to sparingly use our compassion and empathy; making sure we save it for only the most devastating situations. Maybe, we can treat each other the way we treat babies, and have compassion for everyone. Whether someone is upset because their toilet clogged, or upset because their father is dying, the fact is, they are still upset. They are still that crying baby, and they still deserve our compassion. Most of the time.
A baby just wants love and that is just want we want to give him.
Go find a four-month old somewhere. Go find a baby and pick him up. Now, what was the first thing you instinctively did to that baby? I bet you kissed him on the forehead. That is our instinct, to love on babies. I can see in the eyes of my four-year old when I walk in the room holding the baby. He gets next to me and says, “I want to kiss him,” with an almost panicked look in his eyes. So I have to bend over, and let him kiss the baby. It happens every time. It is an instinct. And really, besides the basics, what else does a baby really need besides love? Nothing. What else does anyone really need besides love? Nothing. Nothing at all.
I could go on and on with this list; everything is better in a song, patience grasshopper, and so on. But I think you see my point.
So the next time I don’t feel like listening to my husband’s story, or the next time I’m distracted when my four-year old is showing me the way his plane works, I am going to take a breath, think about my baby, and give the other boys in my life the same love and attention as I give the baby. Because, according to my baby, life is pretty awesome right now. And really, it should be awesome for us all.