The 2nd part of my amazing weekend was hosting a birthday party for my step-niece (is that the right word?)… aka, The-Cutest-Baby-in-the-World.
It would be a first for both of us.
See, that’s the most incredible thing about kids.
Unlike me, or my 96-year-old Baba, everything is new. First birthday party, first steps, first stumbling walk, first drawing, first school day, first boy crush, first kiss, first robotic implant, first dance, first self-driving hovercar, first book about her Uncle Joe, first graduation… yup, soooo many ‘firsts.’
It’s why I think both parties were so very interesting to have back-to-back. Great Baba, much like me, lives a lot in the past. Not that she can’t have some firsts, like first skydive or kiss from the Rock or something, but after about 50, so much time is spent looking back on one’s life, not forward.
But for The-Cutest-Baby-in-the-World, (who realistically can’t remember much of her life at this point), she can look forward to all the incredible things that the world will bring her way.
Imagine what the future will hold? Honestly, I’m not a great believer in all the gloom-and-doom that gets propagandized these days, no, I believe the future will be an incredible place. I believe it will be different in ways we cannot even visualize. What if this generation lives to be 250-years old? What if nano-bots and DNA manipulation cures all diseases and ailments? What if Vancouver wins the Stanley Cup with a new roster of cyborgs?
Ah, who knows?
Yet, as a one-year-old, I’m pretty sure The-Cutest-Baby-in-the-World doesn’t care about much beyond people who light up when they see her, about tasting something new and delicious, about making her dad laugh or having a very satisfying fart after a good meal (though to be fair, that’s one of my favourite things, too.)
In other words, at her age, she lives in the moment. It’s a mythical place that I cannot go. Oh, I’ve heard the gurus say, just live in the moment, meditate, relax, take yourself away from the world for a moment… but at a certain point, either living in the future or the past dominates your life in such a big (and sometimes overwhelming or very sad) way.
For The-Cutest-Baby-in-the-World, however, everything in your life is taken care of. When you’re hungry, someone whips out a boob to feed you or grabs your favourite bottle it’s way faster than even uber-food-delivery. When you need to poop, you poop – no running to the bathroom or anything. When you’re sad, you cry, you don’t hold it in for years and take it out on your therapist. When you’re happy, you laugh.
It’s that easy. Life is simple.
So her party was all about her having an incredible experience at that moment. Cake. Lots of hugs. Lots of laughter. Cool presents she can stuff into her mouth or throw at her Uncle Joe. It was about letting her make a mess, about the simple fun of ripping off the wrapping paper, and about having family around who loved her beyond all measurement of love.
I doubt she’ll remember (though we took a bazillon pictures to record the event), but I know, at that moment, she had a good time.
As did I oddly, enough, captivated by her blue eyes and giggling laughter.
She will have such a brilliant future.