I think it is in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Henry at this moment is learning whether to trust or not to trust. He looks into my eyes and his eyes are so wide and hold my gaze for the longest time. Like in that movie, City of Angels, angels don’t blink.
He looks up at me with complete openness. He has no reason to think he can’t trust me. And for that wide gaze, I would do anything. My job is both to keep him safe and to assure him that he is safe. I look right back at him with a look of kindness and love, and then he smiles. The dogs bark and his head snaps quickly over to face me and he looks at me, reading my eyes, and I smile kindly and he smiles back. It is the most beautiful thing. I could never have known until I was here: it is the most beautiful thing to have a child look into you with trust and peace in his countenance.
I’m learning from him. I feel what it’s like to be trusted, and I find myself trusting the world and its people. I know not everyone is to be trusted, I know this, but along the way I’ve lost too much trust overall. I don’t want to live like that. I can feel it in how I look at Steve. I feel so old-fashioned: I look at him when I’m afraid and try to feel complete trust. I look inside myself and try to feel the same: the world is okay, it’s okay, it just is.