"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
- Mark Twain
Stealthier than a ninja, more magical than Santa, they arrive -- we watch as our babies smile. Statistics suggest that three or four sneak in every second, but it could be weeks, even months, before anyone is the wiser. They don't ring the doorbell. They don't knock. And, most can't even say "instant message" let alone send you one.
All things produce some kind of sound, don't they? From the gurgle of a fish to the roar of the crowd, the world offers an unending smorgasbord of activity to keep our ears very busy. One would naturally expect that the most extraordinary event on the planet should produce the most exquisite of sounds, right?
So, where are the trumpets? Where is the choir singing in lyrical tribute to the wonder of it all? Hey, I'd even settle for a crusty, old boxing announcer heralding their entrance, if we could swing it.
Why is it that at the very moment of conception, there isn't a peep? Could it simply be that the parts involved are just so small that our ears cannot pick up the minute rumble as two parts become one as the babies smile? That seems awfully simplistic, and I believe misses the point.
When I look into a smiling baby's eyes I feel as though they know something wonderful, something that almost feels like I could remember if I knew how. Sure, they cry from time to time, but, when they are quiet, they are really quiet, and when they smile, it's as though someone has turned a light on in a very dark room.
I believe that babies remember that they come from a place that is so awesome it defies words. And, I have a hunch that babies have a pretty good idea why they've come. I wouldn't be surprised if the babies smile at you because they're thinking, "I am so going to rock this world. I am ready for this adventure, and there's no amount of trumpets or parades that could sing loudly enough my appreciation for you taking care of me and helping me get started!"
In that silent moment of conception, an innovative doctor, an inspiring spiritual advisor, or even just a local flower shop girl, destined to jump in and save a child from drowning, has just begun their journey, ready to change this world, with no parade to march them in- and they are perfectly fine with that.
There is a humbling silence in knowing. It requires no convincing. It needs no acknowledgement or credit from others. In a world where every day a lot of us are just trying to gain some control over our lives in the din of the rat race around us, it's hard to imagine a being that incredible not making the proverbial "entrance." But, when you know, when you truly know why you are here, there is a magic that frees you from having to tell the world about it.
Maybe that's why babies smile. Perhaps they are simply offering each of us a chance to remember that which we already know, and are giddy with the anticipation of seeing us get it. Whether we live on Madison Avenue or in the Sahara Desert, we all entered in the same manner. And, since that is true, it follows that each and every one of us is equally as extraordinary as the other. Who can tell why we're here? It can be a lifetime of service or just a moment of selflessness that alters the course of history. Regardless, you are special, and anyone who thinks they can take that away from you, is living in a delusion.
Unfortunately, there are those that don't get this and who will continue to put the pressure on to see their babies smile. That's fine. Just smile at them in the calm silence of knowing who you are, and giggle in anticipation of some baby somewhere getting through to them. While you're at it, the next time you see a smiling baby, smile back, and say "thank you." They'll know what you mean.