Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lessons

There are a number of revelations or rather, discoveries I've made since G was born.  Being that he is essentially my first foray into babies, I never predicted the way I would think of him and how it would change the way I look at the world.  It should go without saying that I adore G. I love him deeply and madly and well beyond what I thought possible.  I study his every expression with wonder, every detail, from the pattern of his eyebrows and the fine layer of blond fuzz along his jaw to his tiny fingernails.  His every sigh is heart melting. All he need to do to gain my adoration is breathe and yet he does so much more and when he does, my heart leaps.  I know that all of you feel or will feel this way about your child, but it never dawned on me how much my love for him would make me think of other children. All children. Simply, every child ever born on earth should be adored in this way, but sadly, not all are.

The fact that this is the first time I truly grasped this, despite the fact that my job is children and especially disadvantaged children, is surprising to me.  Sure, my heart has been tugged at so many times in the duration of my short career, but this is especially so now. The fact that a parent would even fathom not bothering to show up to a child's school meeting or worse yet, neglect their most basic needs (especially emotional) is beyond my comprehension. No matter how many times I face it, I will never understand.

Another discovery I've made since G was born is how miraculous it is that we all started out in the same way. Once upon a time, each and every one of us was that tadpole I saw on the ultrasound screen and later, we were all once that screaming, pooping and completely helpless little being who is no bigger than a football.  School age children are my forte, so anything before the walking/talking and mostly independent thought never REALLY crossed my mind, so as I watch G grow and I see him stumble through one milestone to the next, I am in awe.  It's amazing that most of us acquire language and mobility because frankly learning that looks like really hard work. I should know. After a short session of play and learning to roll on his side, my kid is fast asleep, snoring away the morning (let's hope he snores a little longer!--nevermind, his baby telepathy just set in and I caught a glimpse of eyeball!).

I guess overall what's amazing to me is that this one child has made me look at an entire world full of people differently.  Tragedies seem more tragic, triumphs seem more miraculous.  I experience others' pain more deeply.  I now wonder when will I be able to watch the news without tearing up? But honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

6 comments:

Sarang said...

Beautiful post, Shelby, just beautiful.

banditgirl said...

Awwwwwwwwww, Shel, how moving!

Lorraine said...

I remember being just devastated about anything tragic and so deeply grateful for any good fortune during the year after my daughter was born. I'm not sure if I resumed a more blase attitude after the hormones balanced out or once I wasn't chronically sleep-deprived - not that I became some disgruntled cynic, but I lost that super-heightened sensitivity over time.

I think there is a lasting shift in perception, even if it doesn't include such an emotional response. Maybe that broadening of perception just becomes normal, so it doesn't seem so intense?

Love that you are having such sweet moments with little G!

The Swann's said...

Beautiful! I have always worked with children, particularly those under 3, and have always remained in awe how much I love these little snot nosed toddlers/babies that I only see during working hours. When I ponder it long enough, I cannot fathom how much i will love my child... Knowing forever he/she will be looking to me as mom. Makes me beam with joy just thinking about it!

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...

I am constantly stunned that we all started out this way.

chicklet said...

It's interesting that you writing it made me realize it too - that all kids should have it this good. I hadn't thought of it before.

On the 'us all starting out that way', yea, I marvel at it all the time. Watching him learn to react to things, try to copy things - it's crazy.