He jitters – sometimes because of hunger, sometimes because of exhaustion. But other times I think my little son’s shakes are more about his surroundings than his own state.
The first few times I set him outside in his chair and his arms flailed, legs kicked and head turned side-to-side, I wondered if he would be an anxious child. He was frantic. But outside with him today, I looked around and realized there was plenty to be overwhelmed by.
There’s the delicate chirp of a small bird and the louder, closer caw of a blue bird. The leaves rustle. The planes jet overhead. A staple gun snaps periodically and suddenly in the neighbor’s yard. The breeze tickles his face. There’s the pattern of the umbrella, the potted plants, the clouded sky. It’s just a small backyard, but if I were 6 weeks old, my senses would be overwhelmed too.
I stood up from my chair and made sure he could see me. I held his hand, gave him a pacifier and told him it was ok. I was there with him. He continued to look around frantically. But he cooed at the sound of a siren, opened his eyes wide at the sound of an airplane and seemed genuinely pleased by the pattern of the umbrella. And as I touched his hand, he closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep – the kind you hope for at 3 a.m. but more often find at 3 p.m.
And I thought – this is what childlike faith is all about.
The awe. The trust.
I should be overwhelmed by all the complexities and beauty of my surroundings and situations. But I’m not alone. So in the face of my franticness, I can be in awe. I can trust. I can rest.