Friday, November 19, 2010

Gentle Drooling

This morning at work, I was chatting with a coworker out by the front desk when something terrible happened. A little boy came crawling over to me, then climbed up into my arms. He gave me the cutest baby smile ever and leaned his head on my shoulder, grabbing a fistful of my hair. I didn’t want to ever put him down, but another part of me wanted to drop him and run.

Obviously, I eventually had to put him down. I left the room very quickly after that. I hate it when kids do that to me. They can drool all over me and break my heart at the same time. There’s just something about a happy child that makes me actually hope. Maybe it’s because I remember being as blissfully unaware of the world as they are, or maybe it’s because they may in fact see a better world.

Their innocent trust and joy turns children into warm beacons when I hold them. They make me want children of my own. Not now, of course, but maybe eventually. Still, the moment little Gentle reached up to for help, biology took over and for that instant the mother in me would have done anything to take care of him. His big brown eyes stared right into my soul, devastating me.

Babies remind me of the childlike faith I should have. Growing up can rob us of that precious simplicity, teaching us instead how cruel the world can be so that we build walls to keep it all out. Holding that little boy for a few minutes allowed me glimpse of unspoiled humanity: how we should be, rather than how we are. So, thanks Gentle—for both the encouragement and the drool you left on my sweater.

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