Friday, October 26, 2007

laughter the best medicine

I don't like it, but sometimes life gets me down and I find myself looking out on the world through jaded eyes. Beauty passes unnoticed, day may as well be night and my fellow human beings seem little more than hindrances as I struggle through each week.

Which is why today was so refreshing. There was no way I could be jaded in the face of another person's delight.

Over the last year or two Frank and I have cultivated a friendship with our local Indian restaurant proprietors. In February they had a gorgeous black haired, brown eyed baby boy named Yesh. While his Mum and Dad slave away over a hot stove producing the most delicious Indian food in Tasmania, he sits nearby in his pram keeping himself entertained. Well, as much as a baby can keep himself entertained.

The problem is that as Yesh grows, the less entertaining he finds his pram parked in the kitchen. While other babies are lying on the floor gurgling, curiously exploring their surroundings or playing with toys, he lies still, following his parents with his eyes, becoming increasingly frustrated with the restriction. At night he falls asleep to the sound of clashing pots and pans, by day his eyes drift closed to the bubble of stewing meat. His parents are doing their best to survive - play is a luxury they cannot afford for their child or themselves.

Today I visited my friends to say hello. I like to think they feel less alone in the world because Frank and I care about them. They seem to appreciate our visits.

Yesh was a little grumpy when I arrived - wouldn't drink his milk, wasn't grinning like he usually does - and his mum and dad needed to cook up some base dishes for the night so I offered to take Yesh for a walk in the park and they agreed.

I felt quite weird at first - conspicuous with an orange pram and Indian baby, yet enjoying the feel of a baby in my care; hoping nobody confused me with Yesh's mother (unlikely!) but wishing it was my own child I pushed along.

As we rounded into the park (I love the parks here - they are lush, beautiful squares of green peace in the busyness) and edged towards the fountain, Yesh started laughing. He laughed and laughed and laughed. As we circled the fountain he chortled at the water pouring over the sides of the sculpture. When we sat to rest he bounced up and down on my knee, twisting to see the fountain, the flowers, the sky, drinking it all in. And keeping on keeping on with his laughing.

Ah, what a delight to hear! The pure, unadulterated joy of a baby revelling in being alive, experiencing the world with fresh, alert eyes.

If I never live to have children of my own I will never forget that moment of Yesh's laughter. I won't forget how he saw the beauty and wonder of the world.

May I find the determination to notice that beauty and wonder for myself, staving off the jadedness that snaps hungrily at my heels.

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At 1:39 am, October 27, 2007, Blogger Cherie said...

What a refreshing post to wake up to this morning, Cecily. I'll keep it in mind all day, as I go along, keeping jadeness at bay the best I can.

Kids are good medicine!

At 2:30 pm, October 27, 2007, Blogger Robyn said...

Baby laughter is the most beautiful sound! I'm glad you were both able to be a blessing to each other :)

At 1:50 pm, October 28, 2007, Anonymous Sandy said...

Yes, baby laughter is more fun than just about anything. You were probably the entertainment he's long waited for Cecily.

At 2:37 pm, October 29, 2007, Blogger Deanna said...

I'm happy for you and Yesh. Maybe you'll get to walk with him again, enjoying the spark of his joy.

At 4:59 pm, November 01, 2007, Anonymous Leah said...

You are so sweet to take him out. I find parenting to be so overwhelming sometimes that anyone who takes joy in giving me a break and doting on my children is worth their weight in gold.

God bless you for your sweetness!


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