To greet the happy boy!

The child comes toddling in, and young and old
With smiling eyes its smiling eyes behold,

And artless, babyish joy;
A playful welcome greets it through the room,
The saddest brow unfolds its wrinkled gloom,

To greet the happy boy.

Victor Hugo, Lorsque l'enfant parait

This was the poem that came to mind when little Agastya was born. Today as he once again has left us after two months of pure joy, I remember these words again. Yes for the last sixty days the saddest brow unfolded to greet the happy boy. Time flew as I have never seen it fly. It never seemed to stop: mealtime, play time, bath time, park time, sleep time and somehow we all feel in line, our world revolving only in the tiny crevices left between those baby times, when we tried in the best manner possible to fit all the other things we needed and had to do: the sad brow and wrinkled brows times!

Since he has left, barely a few hours ago, time hangs heavy, like a lid, and another poem comes to mind, this one from Baudelaire.

When the low, heavy sky weighs like a lid
On the groaning spirit, victim of long ennui,
And from the all-encircling horizon
Spreads over us a day gloomier than the night;
Charles Baudelaire, Spleen

Wonder how a little child can conjure such a transformation in supposedly well honed and regulated adult lives. But then are not children images of God, sent to remind us that all that is pure and beautiful is very much alive. It just that we have to remember to see with our hearts.

Perfect love, it is said, sometimes does not come until the first grandchild. I am sure it is true for many but I have been blessed in more ways than one. For the past ten years many little smiles and toddling feet have entered my world to wipe the sad brow, albeit for a few moments. Many little grubby hands have held mine, conveying more than a million words and many furtive kisses have been planted on my cheek as a token of perfect love. Nothing is ever asked in return, there is no need. The heart simply melts and you find yourself breaking rules with alacrity and suddenly tired feet and aching backs vanish as you find the best way to fulfill the unreasonable demand that has been made.

Children are precious, we all seem to have forgotten that!