Baby Joella causes things to happen. At only 6 weeks young, she has power and control over her environment, in certain ways. She makes requests and those requests are fulfilled most of the time. Without recognizable English language skills, or even rudimentary pointing and grunting, she can specifically communicate. It’s pretty amazing, although quite plain and normal and ordinary too.
I expect most babies make understandable declarations, just like she can.
She has many ways to translate her condition and how she is feeling at any given moment. We like it a lot when she is showing signs of peaceful sleeping, or bright eyed curiosity. We like it too, when we know what will silence her cry, like milk or a clean diaper.
These are the kinds of things you expect a new dad, to type about on his blog; The fascinating and mundane moments of living with a newborn and today, I’ll share my findings… kinda…
So far, I know she needs her Momma, and sometimes me too. I know more about babies and nursing and how to install a carseat, than I ever have before. I also, was just shown a profound truth about the nature of life itself this week, while playing with our little Joella.
See, I tend to believe that our most pure intelligence is brought with us, from the ether of no-where, to the substance this world, the now-here, right at the beginning of life, after birth. A newborn baby has clarity of mind and a singular understanding, a clean slate, completely uncluttered.
Our baby has showed us only a few things so far, about what interests her. Obviously she likes to eat, and to stay cleaned up. Now she is starting to develop her recreation and exploring modes.
She has been reluctant to spend much time in her mechanical swing. She does do some tummy time with toys, but doesn’t want to grab the rattles and shake just yet. She likes one of us to talk to her and coo and make faces, but something she really truly seems captivated by, is her Mobile.
We have a sea-life themed, battery operated plastic blue whale that has a stem coming out the top. It is strapped to the side of her crib and the hook that dangles three small stuffed fishy creatures, can rotate either over the crib, or over her changing table. We sometimes set her in the crib, or during a diaper change and turn on the device… She’s enthralled! You can see her lock-in and gaze at just one of the little animals at a time. They are dancing in a circle and she can only follow them so far. Once out of site, she tracks back across their path and picks up a stare at the next one in line.
There is one specific yellow smiling crab that seems to fascinate her more than the others. Sometimes she gets very worked up watching her mobile. She kicks out with both feet and her clenched tiny fists bounce as her arms wave in little circular motions. Lindsay is sometimes concerned that it is too stimulating to leave her with the thing for too long.
It’s funny though, her attention to this toy is what has created the instances where she gets to play with it. HER focus on it, gives us a reason to put her and mobile together. She is making this happen, even more than we are. She has a swing, it sits empty often, because she doesn’t seem to have interest in it. So we are trained to bring her the thing that is interesting to her, and to not engage in things that don’t.
It’s fun to watch her ‘play’ with the mobile. I see her looking at the little yellow crab. I wonder if she knows it is the same one again, once she has lost sight of it from before. I watch her less enthusiastic gaze on the other two fishies, certainly she doesn’t grasp, that these are on an endlessly repetitive slow-race course above her head. She can’t possibly know yet, the simplicity of this system. These three danglers just keep coming, again and again, she still seems so excited by it…
Such is our own experience of life, isn’t it? How have we missed the scaled-down metaphor of our own existence present in this cute little example? How can I honestly say, that I am any different at all, than my newborn daughter, when it comes to things that grab my attention, the things spinning constantly and repetitively, into my vision too.
How clearly I now notice that things I see in my grown-up world are the things I have always seen, just passing again in front of me one more time. How true it feels to examine circumstances and experiences and opportunities too, as just fresh examples of the same issues again and ever again. I feel that I have been shown a glimpse of the mechanical clockworks of life, while watching my daughter watch her cheap Chinese-made toy.
The Law of Attraction is something that I have read about. Maybe you have too. It has been touted as a secret key to getting everything you want out of ilfe. I think it may have worked for some, in the format presented in books and videos. However, the concept of it, never was concrete for me, until I saw this phenomenon with Joella.
Less a magnetic force, and more of the only answer to an equation we constantly are authoring, I see the attention she gives to something, to be the most powerful tool she has. Good or bad, her Attention is attracting the experience in again and again.
I give things attention too. Things, or people or circumstance or problems or joys or concerns or surprises or fears grab my focus. I see now that these issues seem to become danglers on the repeating mobile of visions that pass as thoughts across the inner theatre screen of my mind.
Some of the entities that live on the massive menagerie on my own personal mental mobile, have been cruising by my brain for decades. Some of these ideas captivate me, they can overtake my entire consciousness for awhile. I may want them to pass, and be gone for good, but it is my own fierce lock and fascination with the problem, that in essence, brings it around again, and again.
I can clearly recite, situations that have come to me, over and over and over again, different people, different locations, different almost everything, but the same sensation of frustration, or anger, or disappointment shows up again. That emotion, the one that I grab onto and study and dissect, mulling over and over, is the one that will arrive again soon, suited up in slightly different garb next time.
It is the fun side of this truth that I seem to let slip away in the last few years. Back in the day, in the party times and younger years, I would have all my attention and focus on the next elation experience of intoxication with friends or family. I loved those moments of a slight buzz and laughter all around.
Too many times, the buzz went too far, droning louder and louder, vibrating the world inside my head. The low thunderous tones of that deep drum would send me sometimes into the blackness, the abyss. Then, when the hangover later came, I would focus once again on the emotional crap-storm of consequences that climbed out of that dark hole.
Whatever it was, that held my attention, would be riding around and around and around, on the mega-version of the My Life Mobile. I could try as hard as I wanted, for things to change for me, but until I gave less attention to something, it just wouldn’t go away.
Just like in our little house, we introduce things to Joella, and see if she gives them her attention. A force of love bigger than I could ever imagine, must do the same with me. So much for me changed when I decided to shift my attention, to new things, and let the old ones pass by, without me engaging them.
That, for me was transformation.
My personal mobile of experiences and circumstances and opportunities too, has changed drastically in the last few years, mostly for the better. I am not done yet though, learning about what lessons are important for my soul to encounter. I see now, that if I choose to lock my gaze, either in love or in fear on any one thing, it will continue to show up and again and somehow magically again.
I do have powers to steer my own environment, and to consciously begin to co-create a world that I enjoy the experience of, more than dislike. If Joellla can do that, in her world, without any words or ability to do almost anything herself, surely You and I have those capabilities too.
Just the noticing that I have used my attention to request the repetitions of situations in my life has really helped me in this most recent week, navigate difficulties. Maybe some of these words typed here can bring light and assist you in your own personal journey too. I hope in some way it does.
God Bless J