Lessons from a screaming baby

As a writer, I often find myself uncovering snippets of thought that snowball into fully-written blog posts. With time, these blogs will also manifest manuscripts and chapters that will one day populate bookshelves.

That being said, the intro to a blog can be a challenge. Many good blogs/books are never written because some author couldn’t figure out the opening line.

Call me Ishmael.

“Going home, to me, is like looking at a reflection of myself…it’s like looking into a vision of your past; familiar, yet different.”

Wise words from my friend, Moody.

The biggest reflection I noticed, occurred as I held my nephew, Ronin. When you look into the eyes of an infant, there is a magnificent sparkle in their eyes; everything is new and undiscovered — including their own hands and feet.

All of this information can overwhelm the baby, resulting in long cries and waterfalls of tears.

“What’s wrong?” isn’t always the appropriate question to ask a mother. In fact, don’t do that. Ever.

There’s often nothing ‘wrong’ with the baby that would cause it to cry. Instead, it can be an overload of information (sounds, places, faces, noise, and surprises) that causes the outburst.

As I held Ronin, (something I’ve wanted to do since his birth) he began to rev into a tearful cry. I held him closely and whispered affirmations into his ears; telling him how wonderful, loved, and magnificent he is.

He stopped crying and I looked into his eyes. “You’re going to have an amazing life.” I said. Staring into those eyes, it struck me how his cries were little more than his system overloading with information about what was happening at that time; nothing was bad, wrong, or painful — he just didn’t know his surroundings, including his own hands and feet.

As the adult holding the baby, I knew there was nothing for Ronin to be worried about. He will learn, grow, and discover his hands and feet to be tremendous assets, instead of something to be frightened over.

As an adult that used to be a baby (I still enjoy onesies), it hit home just how similar we are to babies. Instead of tearful outbursts and baby bottles, we’re carriers of anxiety attacks and self-medication.

You are going to have a wonderful life.
You are beautiful. Irreplaceable. Wonderful.
You are loved! Yes, you are loved!
There is nobody in the universe like you!
You are valuable. Precious in every way possible.

Similar to Ronin, our sources of stress are often caused by fear of the unknown; sensory overload as we encounter foreign circumstances, often triggered by growth/change.

As we look into the eyes of a child, knowing they are safe, secure, provided for, and loved deeply, how much more can we see this same measure of love in our daily lives by the universe around us?

When a mother teaches her child to take its first steps, she is observant to protect the baby from running into anything that could bring harm; steps, ledges, pools, and balcony ledges become glaring dangers.

As the child grows older, the mother learns to change her shouts from caution to cheer; no longer afraid that he son/daughter will bump into a sharp corner, she can now cheer them on to run, run, run the race of their lives. Instead of yelling “Stop!” she now yells “Go!” as she watches her children grow into adults.

So the universe cheers us on as we live. No matter our age, all of us have deep pockets of our life that can cause us to react like a fussy child. Sometimes we need to cry and process our circumstances…

…other times, we should just trust the universe and realize we’re simply discovering our hands for the first time.

Featured image from deviantart

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