One of the many perks of spending time with a baby often (whether you’re a mom, a nanny, an aunt, or a close friend) is getting the chance to see the world through a baby’s eyes. As a mom of a now five-month old, I’ve learned a lot during this season of my life (some lessons I wrote about in my last post). One of the things I am pondering recently is attentiveness to holy moments.
As Hudson’s eyes grow stronger, and can see further and clearer, his fascination with the world also grows. As his momma, I get to see his reactions to so many new sights and sounds.
My five-month-old helps me to notice and appreciate the small things even more. He helps me pay attention in a way I haven’t in a while.
And since babies don’t have the social awareness to know it’s rude to stare, and most people seem to understand that, they get the privilege of seeing so much more.
I held Hudson in our church service today, and as we entered the sanctuary, he turned his face up to the ceiling lights with his eyes and mouth wide open in surprise and excitement. He squirmed and bent backwards so he could get a better look at the sunlight pouring in through stained glass, and he twisted and turned his head back and forth to find the sources of the beautiful piano music and the singing voices all around him. Imagine if we all approached worship with such innocent, wide-eyed joy and astonishment - as if seeing it all for the first time! While I love the Episcopal liturgy, it can become rote if I’m not careful.
Bringing a baby into worship has helped me to find new meaning to the words I say and the songs I sing. I am so aware of Hudson’s attentiveness to each detail, and I imagine what he is learning from what he sees and hears at such a young age. While he won’t remember these specific lessons, they will make imprints on him that will last throughout his life.
When is the last time you paid attention to:
- The way a chandelier twinkles, its light reflected all over the ceiling
- The intricacies of a person’s face - the wrinkle lines when they smile or frown, the colored flecks in their eyes
- The sound of water pouring out of the faucet - where does it come from (do you even know)?
- A common bird perched on a telephone wire, flapping its wings as it ascends into the sky
- Water in a glass and the reflection of light through it when one picks it up to drink from it
- The pattern and predictability of a ceiling fan as it spins around and around
- A colorful scarf with its fringes swaying in the breeze
- The lilt and cadence of a conversation in another language, even if you don’t understand what is being said.
I am thankful for the gift of being able to witness the small, uneventful, everyday holy moments through a baby’s eyes.
Micalagh Beckwith Moritz is a social worker, writer, wife, sister, daughter, community member, continually learning how to do a better job at each of these roles. She is always contemplating how to love others better and to enjoy the small things of life; to see God in everything and everyone. She is passionate about caring for the environment, experiencing new cultures, and also important, eating cheese. She currently resides in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.