One of the things that surprised me the most about having Levi was how much it changed my experience in public places. Before Levi, people barely said hello. I would get the cordial greeting from the grocery store clerk or occasional polite smile from a stranger passing by. With Levi, people are constantly talking to us - everywhere, all the time. It’s almost like having a baby tears down the walls of anonymity and independent living and invites people back into living connected.
Perfect strangers strike up conversation with us. Whether it’s asking about the baby carrier we’re using, asking questions about Levi, telling us about their own children or grandchildren, or talking to Levi directly - I feel like I am never without conversation when Levi is around. It’s really great! I kind of thought our culture had forgotten how to be friendly. Everyone is always so busy and focused on their own agenda, oftentimes we barely even make eye contact with people we don’t know, let alone talk to them. It’s been really fun as a new mom to talk to so many new people, simply because they took the time to stop what they were doing and engage with us.
Not only do I talk to people so much more with Levi around, people help us out too. Strangers have helped me push grocery carts, walked us to our car under their own umbrella during a storm, helped me load/unload heavy items in and out of my cart, held doors, etc, etc. The cool thing is, their generosity has resulted in me looking for ways I can help others too.
I realize before I had Levi I too was primarily focused on myself. My errands were for my benefit and I barely noticed the people around me or thought about how I could help them. Now I’ve started to take the time to open my eyes and look around. Is there another mom who looks like she could use an extra hand? Is there someone we should talk to who looks like they need cheering up? It’s been so much fun not only being the recipient of this friendly generosity but also to start offering it to others.