One sacred purpose that babies seem to fulfill effortlessly is the power to slow down time. Ever noticed how EVERYONE stops and stares at a baby? I had forgotten that! At eleven months baby Christian does all sorts of amazing baby feats, but man, just a few short months ago that kid couldn’t even hold up his own head! (It’s a big head, don’t judge him!)
Babies’ shamelessness over their dependency is legendary. Christian believes that he can point at an object, call out “That!” and I swear he waits for the magic to happen, expectantly waiting for the object to come to him. Where does he think he is? Harry Potter World? No matter. He continues to expect objects of interest to arrive at his feet, food to be served upon demand AND time is completely immaterial.
Shame tries to isolate and disconnect us from our own wants and needs. Shame says we shouldn’t need help. When we don’t ask for help and find ourselves lacking basic skills – like the capacity to hold up our own heads without a bit of support – shame says, “You big dummy! You should have asked Pops to support your neck!” Shame demands we rush to perfection and performance – who has time to study one’s surroundings and point at interesting objects when shame has taught us that our very survival depends on productivity? Babies don’t get the productivity thing and fortunately merely being in their presence helps us forget too. Just try angsting in the presence of a happy baby!
Can you find time today to hunt for something worth pointing at? What about taking time to eat your dinner on the good dishes? How about a leisurely after dinner walk (not one intended to get your 10,000 steps in) just for the heck of it? Just for today, practice joy. That may look different for each of us, so our work is to figure out what it looks like for ourselves.