Monday, January 31, 2011

The eyes of a baby girl

My friends, Josh and Meredith, got married this weekend, and I attended their wedding. I have this rotten habit of arriving at weddings mere seconds before the bride and her posse make their entrance. This wedding was no exception. Staying true to form, I got stuck in the very last seat in the back of the groom's section.

I'm not really much of a ceremonious type of dude. Ceremonies feel scripted and a bit impersonal to me. The receptions, on the other hand, are where people usually let their hair down. Receptions are much more my style. We have the option of two-way communication with each other, and we don't have to worry about composure so much. We "commune" with each other.

That being said, my mind is unlikely to stay focused through a wedding ceremony, no matter how hard I try. This was no exception. Part way through the service, a father sitting in front of me hoisted his little baby up so that she was face-to-face with me...this is where my memory of the wedding starts getting fuzzy.

She stared at me the whole time, unabashedly. I could only return her gaze for so long before I felt embarrassed and kept having to look away, but eventually I found I couldn't look away from her.

I've had an issue with eye contact since I was 15. The girl I was dating mentioned that the way I made eye contact made her uncomfortable, and I didn't want her to feel that way. In that simple sentence she transfered her discomfort and insecurity to me, and to this day, as I stand on the doorstep of 30, eye contact is a huge struggle for me.

A little over a year ago, I wrote this blog, which cryptically alludes to this struggle of mine, and some other things. I had honestly forgotten about what I said that day until I got caught in that little girl's tractor beam. In her eyes, a multitude of things revealed themselves to me. I saw beautiful innocence. I saw peace. I saw truth. I saw confidence. I'm not sure I can explain this, but the oddest, most prominent thing I think I saw in those eyes was forgiveness...almost as if that's the one thing she wanted to convey to me. All in the eyes of that baby girl who can't even talk yet!

Eventually, she lost interest in me, got fussy, and was taken out into the lobby. Immediately, I felt a bit like somebody turned out the lights and the room was suddenly short on oxygen as I came out of the trance. I guess it's been a long time since I've taken the time to really see something as beautiful as a little baby girl. I never saw her again, and though that makes me sad, I know it's ok. We exchanged a few moments where she was the teacher and I was the student, and that was the end of our story.

There isn't really a point to this, because I'm not sure I understand it yet. I do know it was beautiful, and I've got a lot of other thoughts in my head now.


  1. Both Ava and Cy have gone through that phase of life. It is up to a certain point that they stare. Completely unaware that they are not supposed to. Completely curious at the person they are staring at. Completely open. I would stare right back into their eyes and absorb all the love and freedom! Freedom to stare!