When I walked to the park the other day, here's what caught my attention in this scene, in order of appearance:
After sitting there for awhile, it occurred to me that I didn't even look at or acknowledge her baby.
Without thinking, I applied filters to the scene, like this:
* * *
I love family, I love the idea of marriage and children.
I'm single, in my 40s and I don't have children.
Not having those in my life, I can see now that I've learned to apply filters. Too painful otherwise.
These filters are like lenses.
I think back 10 years ago, when I was more interested in detachment and self-protection.
One thing I love about getting older is caring less about being cool. But as I consciously become more open and less cool, I notice some losses from trying to be cool. An easy one? When I was younger I wouldn't do the electric slide at weddings -- too lame. Now I'm taking a hip-hop dance class that I adore. But I'm the only one who still doesn't know how to do the cool-down.
It's the electric slide.
* * *
The same day I noticed the baby blocker filters at the park, I made an effort to not avoid baby and family scenes. I watched a dad teasing his baby adoringly. My heart tugged.
But I was okay. Next I waited in line behind a father holding his child, being ever so tender.
While he was sweetly attentive to his baby, I made sure I didn't apply the jaded detached filter of cool. But my eyes watered. When I got to my car, I sat and cried.
But I was still okay.
Even though I felt sad, it was a genuine, direct sadness based on the heart of the matter (possibly still wanting to mother). I was being a better listener to myself.