I ate dinner last night in a restaurant with a young crowd. By young, I mean a lot of tables had diners who had not yet celebrated their first birthday. One little person might have been celebrating her first week out of the womb. High chairs were in high demand. Three and four year olds were the older kids. My son, at eleven, could play the role of kindly older gentleman. I didn't see a seniors' menu.
A restaurant with so many babies is not a place that everyone would want to be. Babies cry, they can throw and drop things, and they don't worry about behaving in ways that lets other diners enjoy their meals. They don't seem like ideal guests.
Last night, however, I watched a few babies as we sat at our table. The actions of one in particular surprised me. Her parents had brought her food from home and she ate it before they were served. I guess she was happy with a full belly but she also seemed to really enjoy herself. She played with a toy or two, she drank from her sippy cup (and only threw it on the floor once) and she looked around with a happy expression on her face. She was in no way a disturbance to other diners and I think she liked the chance to look at all the people and movement. Her parents got to enjoy their meal too.
For me, it was interesting to be reminded that babies are really happy little people at times. They can't tell us everything they'd like us to know and they're kind of helpless in a lot of ways but with so many new things to experience, people to meet and life to savour, they find a lot of reasons to be joyful. The presence of a baby is not a thing to be feared - it is a delight to behold. I am so glad that we went to that restaurant last night and saw the babies. They almost made up for the food.