babies + classical music

Being a nanny has made me soft(er). I generally respond emotionally to (extreme or mixed) circumstances anyway, but especially especially in the context of these little humans. The fragility of life is something so insanely fascinating and calming and intriguing. It constantly makes me more aware of God and less aware of myself—ironically, less aware of my own humanity. 

Classical music also does this. I realize I'm not the first person to lump babies and classical music together, but it's on the brain because my weekend consisted of both. (And let's be honest, so do my weekdays).
My grandparents have season tickets for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and they invited Mackenzie and I to this month's concert in Pasadena. They took us out to dinner at a tasty Mexican spot, and we dressed up and double-dated from 4pm all the way until 10pm. 

The main piece was a Haydn cello concerto, but before that was a tribute to Benjamin Britten for his 100th birthday. As soon as the conductor lifted his hands and the entire viola, violin, cello, and upright bass sections struck their instruments, I was done. Or, more accurately, undone. Completely undone.
It was the best musicianship I've seen. Every single person was playing together, as one, and there were points where the conductor just stopped, hung his head, and allowed himself to soak in every moment of his orchestra's playing. Such an incredible experience.
Then on Sunday night, I hung out with babies while their parents enjoyed a triple date/early birthday celebration. Mackenzie came too, and while I was quickly realizing watching a 2-month old is vastly different from a 6-month old, the mixed emotions erupted.

I felt mildly concerned—wanting to do everything I could to make sure this baby was comfortable, taken care of, loved. I felt thankful—thankful that I wasn't alone, that even if Mack was watching the Broncos game, he was there, he was present. I felt relieved—instantly calm as the baby fell asleep in my arms, fully content after being fed.

And then I had my moment. The moment after yet another amazing, amazing weekend, where my mixed emotions turned into one overwhelming one: gratitude. Extreme, extreme gratitude.

I can't express it other than that. My weekends have been full of meaning in the smallest yet most significant ways, because they've reminded me of this thing called life. This thing that I am experiencing every day, yet too often overlook. I'm so thankful for these people, this city, the position I'm in, the generosity and love surrounding me.

It was enough to make me cry. Happy-cry. Happy-thank-you-Jesus-for-reminders cry.
This is Ayden, the baby I nanny. She is the cutest and most curious. She's not the above baby mentioned, but she is the one who reminds me daily how cool life is—how cool it is when you just zoom out for a second, and focus on the small miracles, like rolling over or sitting up, or learning that yes, you have fingers too!

Her and her family are a huge part of the gratitude. I am so blessed.