So Many Content Babies
I love happy babies. There’s nothing sweeter than having one baby smile at me. That’s why it was an extraordinary gift to see five smiling infants all in one place.
Back in February we drove out to see my dad in southern British Columbia. On the way there, we stayed overnight at Radium Hot Springs. Soon after booking into our hotel, we headed on over to the hot springs.
When we pulled into the parking lot, there were fewer cars than there had been in July, the last time we’d passed through. The hot pools’ building was undergoing some renovation, but there was no construction happening in the course of our visit. No pounding. No sawing. No jackhammering. Just cool tranquility.
If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend sitting in any hot springs during the winter. In the summer months the hot springs are delightful. It’s refreshing to have a twenty-minute soak to relax those sore muscles. This February, though, we stayed in the pool with the other bathers for over an hour! It was a downright delicious wintertime treat.
A metal frame covered with heavy blue polyurethane ran from the change rooms’ exit, across the concrete pool deck and right up to the stairs that led down into the warm water. We made our way through this temporary winter structure and into the hot pool. The rising clouds of steam meant that we had to move slowly through the water to avoid stepping on or crashing into people.
We found a spot along the edge and as we sat, careful to keep our shoulders submerged, the steam clouds parted and the late afternoon sun shone down on the mountains surrounding the hot springs. I glanced around and realized that although there were only about 40 people in the hot pool, there were five infants.
I suppose it’s not that strange to see that ratio of infants to adults in any given place. It can happen. What was unusual is that every baby there was content. Not one of the newborns cried, and under their little knitted toques, each one was smiling. Tiny angels in water wings, that’s what they were.
Walking into a restaurant or airplane, I would know right away if one or more babies were present. I wouldn’t even have to see them. If not immediately, before very long, I’d hear them screaming their heads off. Babies don’t like noisy restaurants and crowded planes, and I don’t either. Babies enjoy peaceful hot springs, and I agree with them.
What makes us grown-ups happy also makes babies happy. And happy babies make me happy. As adults, we put up with the cramped flight because we want to feel the sand between our toes. We tolerate the racket of a packed restaurant because we’re hungry and our friends want to meet us there.
But we dip our bodies into the sulfur-scented water that comes straight out of the mountain because we love it. It soothes us, warms us and relaxes us. Who knows? Maybe it reminds us of our time spent in the womb. I have a hunch that’s what those smiling babies are remembering. Immersed in those healing waters and just like those contented babies, we are finally where we want to be.