Brindle. A neighbor came running up with her baby - just 10 months old, happy, clean, well taken care of and loved. Pink cheeks and wide eyes. No signs of neglect. No fear in her face. Wide eyes and curious about the world.
In the past I would get jealous of situations like this. I would hum and haw, then make an excuse to get away. This was a trigger for me. I couldnt stand to see others happiness because I was so angry about what I had when I was growing up. Then the "movie" would start in my head. Eventually, I found myself just doing whatever I had to do to not be around babies or children. My focus was on the past and everything outside of me. I saw only what I didn't have.
One of the first things I remember was my father telling me in his gruff voice "you cried all the time. Ma and me, we'd throw you in the back seat of the car and take you for a drive and let you cry till you were all cried and out and fell asleep". Keep in mind - this was the "old days"; no car seats no seat belts. A baby in the back seat of a car - alone. No wonder I never felt safe. Even as an infant I was left to fend for myself. I just remember a constant feeling of uncertainty and dread. And of being alone.
So today I was able to smile as this young mom ran up to me, eager to show me her baby and how she had grown. I watched this infant in wonder. I finally understood what others mean when they say children are a beautiful miracle.
This little girl with a wisp of blonde hair caught up in a tiny barrette reminded me of that Gerber baby of so long ago that I would see on the baby food jars and advertisements. Back then I thought happy babies were just in pictures but today I can let go of the anger of the past. I accept my past for what it was and in doing so I am free.
I still feel that twinge of jealousy now and then but today it wasnt nearly has strong. I didnt have to run away to stop the thoughts and feelings from coming. Instead I can acknowledge them and let them go on by as though they are in a boat floating on the gentle currents of the nearby river and be at peace.