The house is quiet. So quiet that I can hear the birds singing through the closed window behind me. In a house full of young bodies, loud voices, and busy footsteps, this is a rare moment. It is almost eerie.
This type of stillness only happens between 12:30 – 2:30 (3:15 if I’m lucky) each day. This is when the kids take their much needed naps. This is also when I sit down and breathe, or sometimes eat my first meal of the day. Needless to say, I like naptime. A lot.
Today during naptime the newest addition to our family is laying on the couch beside me, all sprawled out on his back, arms spread like he’s about to take flight. He is just shy of being three months old, he just drank a full bottle, his belly is full, life is good for this young lad.
While being totally chill, I look over and notice that his gaze is fixed on me. My glance catches his attention and our eyes lock. For several minutes he simply stares into my eyes. He is precious. I admit I am totally biased, but he is definitely one of the cutest three month old boys I have ever seen! In this moment I feel so lucky to be his manny (“manny” = male nanny, for those thinking I made a typo).
Quickly, that feeling of luck I have turns to curiosity. I wonder what he is thinking about as he stares up at me. He obviously notices me; by now he knows my familiar look. He knows my face. But what is he thinking about me? How does he see me? What is he learning from me?
His eyes are a fascinating mix of a deep steel blue and brown. They seem to be so full of potential for wisdom, or maybe the wisdom is already there in its purest form. I don’t know. Either way, I wonder what those eyes are learning each day as they watch me care for him, hold is bottle, tickle his belly, and yell at the other two kids to stop fighting over the Fisher-Price princess castle.
The last few days I have noticed his facial expressions changing and developing. Most recently I have noticed when I hold him in my arms he often looks up at me with a slight furrow in his brow, the same peculiar expression he has on his face now. It’s not the same type of judgmental furrow I have across my brow when I look at someone with disapproval. The expression painted across his face and in his eyes is a look of deep inquiry.
I feel his glance going past my eyes and piecing into my inner being. There is something about his gaze that makes me consider my own character and intentions.
I realize that he will not likely remember this exact moment in five years, but I may. What I hope he does remember in five, ten, or fifteen years is how I have loved him. Oh, how I do love him and the other two children I nanny for. By 5pm every day I am ready to clock-out and get away from them, but I am so ready to come back and see them the next morning.
I recently heard or read a quote that said something like “love is our way of expressing the divine.” I wish I could remember where I know this line from, but I don’t. Though I don’t remember it’s source, I still acknowledge the truth in this simple statement.
As I care for these three children each day, as I serve them, as I love them, I hope their spirit drinks in the love that I offer them from the divine that is living within me. Today, while sitting in the quiet hum of this house, with this little man now dozing off beside me, I am reminded of what a privilege it is to be able to show love.