Babies and Nature
I have two babies in care now, one is nine months and the other eight. I’ve never done this to myself before. But they were both worth it. It’s not terrible, it’s just hard when they’re both crying at the same time. And they’re SO edible, it makes up for the challenges. Lots of baby snuggles.
When we go outside I’ve been putting them in a double stroller because they’re both crawling off their sunny picnic blanket now, eating grass, sucking on pine cones, putting rocks in their mouths. So instead I push them up and down the driveway and they’re happy.
The other day they were both sitting in the stroller staring at something near the front of the house. Two little bald heads in the same position, slightly tilted, eyes focused intently. I peeked around the corner expecting to see a bird, squirrel, person walking a dog, etc. Nothing there.
I looked some more. There was a nice breeze, and it was blowing the trees and the morning glory vines so they were very eye-catching. I realized that’s all they were looking at: the purple flowers, and the swaying pine tree in the back. I remembered how connected babies are to the simple things, and what an amazing quality that is.
It reminded me of this lousy movie, Phenomenon, where John Travolta (in his post-Pulp Fiction, we’re still rooting for you to be a movie star! phase) played a guy who had a (SPOILER) brain tumor and was becoming more and more attached to the natural world. Toward the end of the movie, when he realizes there’s no hope, he’s sitting on the porch in a rocking chair swaying along with the pine trees. That was a moment that stayed with me even if the rest of the movie was just tolerable.
Babies have this wonderful ability to be enthralled by, and connected to, anything. It’s one of the perks of my job – to stop every once in a while and marvel at something so simple it’s stupid – but it brings me back into the moment. Instead of running crazy all day I get a little breather built in. After being reminded to do so by the babies.
I was bringing in the trash can and Mr. O almost fell out of the stroller trying to see what I was doing. What’s that giant thing? It’s making a fabulous rumbling noise! It’s actually following us – on wheels!! AMAZING. I laughed at how long I’ll be able to get away with entertaining them with a garbage can. Soon they’ll want iPhones. But until then we’ll enjoy trees, leaves, flowers, birds, and especially squirrels.
And BTW I’m not trying to bash John Travolta, poor guy’s had a pretty screwed up life lately. Do we want him to make a third comeback? I think it’s time for his career to come full circle. Anybody up for “Welcome Back, Barberino”?