I Had No Idea

It’s been a long time since I held an infant.  I’ve let them grip my fingers with their hands and said all the right things to their parents, including:

Oh so cute!
Look at his little hands!
She’s the most darling thing!
Wow!  He has your chin!

Those things may or may not be true at the time, but it’s the sentiment that matters.  I’m all for honesty, but I think with newborns the compliments are for the parents and it doesn’t hurt to say what they need to hear.

Apparently, I hadn’t ever met newborns whose parents I loved with all my heart.  I have a niece and nephew, but they were more than a few months old before we met them.  By that time, babies are cute.  Fat cheeks, rosy lips, tiny smiles.  Apparently, love is all that’s needed to shine up infants so they look less like wrinkled, red potatoes.

Last week, I held a pair of babies only a few hours old.  These weren’t the chubby cheeked infants they will be in a few weeks.  They were so new their parents still had fresh rings of exhaustion around the eyes and a slump in their shoulders.  It was a chocolate covered moment.  You know.  How the outside is sweet and mouth-melting but the inside almost always needs covering.  Still sweet, but imperfect somehow.  For me, the imperfection of this moment wasn’t the babies (so cute, little hands, darling thing, chins like hers), it was leaving our friends.

I wish we could have stayed,  I wish we lived nearby, I wish we could be there to see them smile at their new sons.  Holding the babies was almost the best thing that happened to me all week – right behind watching our friends hold their children.  The worst thing was saying goodbye.

I could have held those children forever.

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