Though I have been haughty and vocal about my non-allurement towards kids, I recently found myself being drawn towards one. She is just over an year old, is my neighbour, and her name is Angel. Each time one steps into the balcony, one can hear her giggling and shouting and prancing and dancing about, and her mother following her all day long. And if she happens to hear anyone in my balcony, she comes hurrying along on her tiny little feet, waving her fists and flashing her radiant smile. In the past, I never looked at her, not knowing how to react. I always hid behind my mom. Never smiled back. Longed to but couldn't.
My mom isn't well these days, so I was doing the washing yesterday. And went to the balcony to dry the clothes, and the little darling heard me. Came dancing about. And began smiling. Radiant. Beautiful. Infectious. Her smile became wider and turned into a laugh. A full throat-ed chortle. Shining eyes. Welcoming. Benevolent. Warm. Irrespective of whether I reciprocated or not, whether I was hostile or not. She began saying something, she can't form words yet. Voice full of glee, so happy to just be. Then slowly, as I wrung the last of the garments to rinse out the water, she held out her little arms towards me, wanting to be held.
I suddenly didn't feel tired after a long day.
And I found myself smiling back.