Despite sharing the angst of death with friends/family and witnessing Mom’s finally relenting pain last week (clarification: the two are not related; she is alive and doing well) … I was overcome with the pure, unadulterated love and joy of a child. Babies can heal just about any heartbreak.
Well, not just any baby.
Harper’s deep gratitude for people and life go far beyond her
years months. Inherently, the love I feel for her is inexpressible, but after spending a couple of days with her this week, she set my heart soaring by how she radiates love for everyone and everything she meets. Without reservation.
Her love is unconditional and she doesn’t even know it.
At nine months she has no idea how joy absolutely pours from her heart, and that’s the beauty of it. Innocence. Wonder. Not a spit of judgment coming from that quirky little mouth or those deep-ocean eyes. No fear. It’s enough to allow you to cast your cares and exhaustion to the wind and welcome a mighty stab of adrenaline to the soul.
Wide-eyed, she follows shadows from a tree branch and erupts into giggles. The sun peeks through the clouds, she squints, then eyes open wide to look for more. More sparkles. She sees her own shadow on a stroller ride and fixes her eyes in fascination, wondering when that “thing” will come into her line of sight again, arms and legs practically doing “The Freddie” with excitement. I make her a snowball and she touches it gingerly, then gasps with delight, her eyes connecting with mine in intense amazement.
We gaze at the school of bright goldfish at the top of the winter-murky pond and she reaches, literally bouncing in my arms with delight.
She sneezes, and her “achoo” is followed by a throaty chuckle. She loves that, too. Boogers, be damned. That was fun.
She’s done with her breakfast, but rather than fussing or squirming, she clamps her mouth shut and gives me a sideways glance. Grinning, showing off her dimple filled with steel-cut oats. She hates nothing. Kindness is so natural for her.
Last week I brought her to the hospital when Mom had surgery, because that’s the way the logistics happened. Some of the people we met in passing looked disheveled and even scary. I hustled past many, pushing the stroller, with a vague pleasant smile, the nurse/mom/grandma in me wanting nobody to touch her if I haven’t seen them use the antiseptic gel dispensers. They made eye contact with her and she smiled big. (Real big). Her legs kicked non-stop and her arms flailed with joy and her upper body did a 180 to keep following them. Everyone is her friend. She knows no color, no class, no creed. All are loved, even the abstract ballerina with the distorted face in a wall sculpture that towers above both of us. That “art” always creeped me out.
Not Harper – she’s met another friend. I want to be like her when I grow up.
I pray her faith is as authentic and strong as her beautiful infant spirit.
I bumped into this on Pinterest the other day, and immediately thought of her.
It’s no wonder she is such a joy to be around; her attitude is magnetic. Her heart is open. I spent the remainder of my week just trying to see things with her eyes. Clearly I had been schooled.
Maybe I’ll even get up the nerve to do The Freddie in public – I need just a bit more practice.
Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.
Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Tea today: Sencha