Baby Love

It has been such a long time since I wrote a post, I'm not sure I remember how!

Just kidding, I remember.

A few months ago I quit my temp job (because it was awful) and found a job at a day care. I'm in the "transition" room meaning I'm working with children transitioning from the infant room to the toddler classroom. We help them learn to walk and talk, start them on solid foods, and move them from a crib to a little cot. In other words I hang out with tiny people age 10-18 months every day.

I love it so much. For the obvious reasons and for some that have surprised me.

First of all, it's hard to be mad about anything really when 8-10 tiny humans are so excited to see you about 20 times a day. When one of those little babies comes running over to you with a giant smile on their face and a hug with your name on it, you sort of forget that you're broke and single and deeply deeply in debt.

Of course they cry and they poop and that stinks (teehee), but the first time a baby cries and the only thing she/he wants is a hug from you or to sit in your lap, then the fact that they sneezed on you earlier that week is a distant memory. In short, it is nice to be needed. It is an incredible feeling to help someone become the person they are supposed to be. To help them discover their personality and make their first friends. It can be a bit overwhelming when you think about the lives these children still have ahead of them. They are the future of our country and that's kind of crazy and amazing to think about.

It is also very interesting to hang out with infant/toddlers all day long and then spend time with people my age and see all the similarities between the two groups. While we grow and become more intellectual and we learn from our mistakes (hopefully), there are some basic human emotions that are not lost between the age of 1 and... well I don't know... death probably. I think I've always been pretty good at reading people (in certain situations), but this ability has definitely heightened since working with kids. I think I'm more aware of people's intentions and their subtextual meaning because I see a million different tactics from children every day to get what they want. *Side note... If you want a great acting tool, watch a child attempt to get what they want from another child or an adult.* I've also learned not to take things too personally. If a child is crying, he's probably hungry. He's not crying because you're doing something wrong. So, for example, if someone doesn't like me, or I don't get that gig, or whatever is going on in my personal life, it is so much easier for me to move on from it now because I know 99.9% of that time it has nothing to do with me. Also, I chose the pronoun "he" very specifically in that last example because it is usually the little boys who get easily emotional. I think that is so fascinating when society likes to tell us that the exact opposite is true.

The other thing that this job has taught me is to let go of my anxiety. If there's one thing babies can sense, its when you're anxious. A watched baby never sleeps. You have to be the source of calm and constancy around children. They need to know that they can trust and depend on you. That you are going to take care of them. As someone who has a tendency to be over anxious, this is a great exercise for me. The job is of course not without it's stresses, so having to remain calm in extremely tense situations forces me to ignore those anxieties and remain collected. I've found that this has seeped into my every day life as well. I'm constantly having to let little things go, which in the past has been difficult for me in my personal life. When you work with kids that you care about and that need you, it is difficult to hold on to something that isn't working. Having to do it time and time again, day after day, makes me more prone to do it for myself outside of work. This is a very good thing.

Lastly, and I think most importantly, I've become more aware of what is really important to me.  I know what I want out of life and I'm not afraid of it. I know that I want to keep doing this acting thing and these kids help me realize that any moment that I question my dreams is a waste of time. They would never tell me that my dreams are far fetched because their view of the world is untainted. I know that I want to find true love. Seeing these children who are so loved and happy at home is just a testament to their parents. It is also a daily reminder of how lucky I am to have the parents I have. I've realized how important it is to me to have my own family one day. I want to find someone to share the joy of parenthood with and I'm not worried about finding him anymore. He will come because I have faith that he will. I'm not worried that maybe I said the wrong thing, or didn't try hard enough with someone because I know that being with the right guy for me won't feel like trying and nothing will feel wrong because that's not what love is.

And THAT'S what a bunch of babies (that can't talk) have taught me. Love is powerful my friends... and I am the receiver of it dozens of times a day. Lucky me.


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