Thursday, January 17, 2008


There is a certain sleepy way that children have when their eyes move around their envoironment while their bodies remain inert, taking in first the lady in the seat behind them, then the sign above the window, the the lady in the seat across the aisle, then the other baby two seats back. They have given over all bodily control to the security of their mothers' arms and lie passively, with even the muscles of their face relaxed into seeming disinterest, belied only by the movement of their eyelids, which indicates that they want to take in the entire area of a point of interest: both high and low.

I always smile at babies in this state and there were two on the bus this morning. The slight possibility that the welcome in my face might inspire a child to lift herself out of her purely receptive rest and smile back at me - or even look twice - is enough to make the effort worth it. To know that I was interesting to a baby - a creature who has no biases and is the embodiment of innocence - is enough to balance out every other insecurity I have about the rejection I might face through the rest of the day.

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