Thursday, 11 November 2010
"Does he ever stop smiling?" the health visitor asks me after three hours in his sunny, smiley presence.
"When he bangs his head..." I reply flippantly, wondering whether I'm imagining the testy scepticism on the other mothers' faces.
"I don't think I've ever met such a smiley baby," she says as dribble splatters her shoe from John's wide, open grin.
I smile at my beautiful baby and watch my happiness bounce back to me with instantaneous interest. His eyes gleam, his lips stretch wide and a sound of pure glee gurgles in his throat.
It's a response that I've seen so many times before that it's greyed into normality and I'm suddenly startled afresh by the sheer brilliance of his joy.
Of course there are times when he does stop smiling, and there are even times when he cries, but his happiness is effortless and his smiles illuminate our days.
I'm often awed by his optimism and I'm always cheered by his smiles but such joyfulness is a gift, and I hope never to forget it.