Monday, June 19, 2006

Baby babble

He likes to make strange sounds. Sounds that no one can understand, but can make everyone worried. Sometimes it’s a slight hum, sometimes an ‘aaa’ or an ‘eee’, an ‘ooo’, an ‘iii’…sometimes it’s an ‘aaa’ followed by an ‘eee’, or an ‘iii’ followed by an ‘aaa’. Funny, because it sounds like he’s already beginning to master the vowels. Then there’s the soft cackling, the muffled crying, the weak little wailing, the stuttered screaming, followed by a sudden silence and calm which takes over the baby as quickly as it leaves. Nobody knows what he wants to say, if anything. It’s all baby babble, a new and foreign language perhaps only Baby Sunny understands, and, perhaps, makes up as he goes along.

With a baby that small, it’s difficult to know when he’s happy or when he’s sad. Or maybe he’s not happy or sad, because those are just emotions that we project onto him. Maybe he’s just living, in a state of non-happiness and non-sadness, just living in the moment, breathing in and out, experiencing every physical and mental process as they come and go…which would make him a better and more advanced mediator than any of us. But again, that’s just projecting ‘grown up’ attributes and feelings onto the curious little being.

More peculiar are his facial expressions. Sometimes he just looks around him, at nothing in particular, and just stares and stares. His grayish pupils dilate to such proportions it seems like he could see the whole world, and things in it that we ‘grown ups’ cannot see…or have lost the ability to appreciate. Other times his whole face crumples up to a cringe, as if in disgust, as if in discomfort. Only to brighten again, with raised little lips, revealing a toothless smile, or grin, or laugh, or perhaps a combination of them all.

And then there are the hand and arm gestures, more energetic and expressive than Italians. They swing around, wildly and freely, sometimes softly, at times with great force, drawing invisible shapes in the air or trying to catch invisible insects that only he can see. And he wriggles his stubby little fingers, as if letting them dance to a melody only he can hear.

And when he’s asleep, all is quiet. His chest heaves up and down, up and down in rhythmic synchrony. Short, warm breaths flow from his nostrils. His eyes softly shut, his lips softly sealed, and his face puts on a still and serene show. Unmistakably, he is at peace.

And so would you be if you could see him.

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