Who doesn't like babies? I smile at babies. I'm happy for people when they have babies..... most of the time. But I never really got excited to see baby pictures or even really cared much in general about other people's children unless they were students or family or friends. Intuitively, I knew babies were a big deal so I respected them and smiled for them and generally felt good knowing they were out there.
Since having more direct experience with the birth of a child I get much more excited for people. I have gotten literally giddy for hugely pregnant women, any-day-now women, when I see them. I am full of pleasure when I see a happy baby with parents. It's neat to be able to sense the reality of the specialness in a child's existence where before it was a bit more vague. And this led to the following...
The principal of my school has a very cute picture in her office of her grand daughter with those adorable cheek proportions only available to babies. Because I get excited about such things, I actually noticed the cheeks recently. Seeing them I can almost feel my son's cheeks when I kiss them, almost see my son in my mind's eye and his beautiful cheeks. Which got me to thinking.
The little baby in the Principal's office photo is not as little any more. Over four years old in fact. Those baby cheeks have been replaced with an entirely new set of beautiful cheeks. What we learn in one situation transfers, for better or worse. I have, I believe, 8 framed pictures of my son in my office. All of them make me think of my beautiful boy that I get to see when I get home. But someday..... someday those pictures will not be reminders of the little cutie at home that I can see in minutes and kiss and hold and love and enjoy. Someday, those pictures will be memories of what cheeks USE to be at home waiting for their loving father to see and kiss and love and smoosh with affection. Someday, these photos that tell me in their 8 thousand words "go home..." will whisper "look at this... do you remember when.....?"
I may not be ready to let these moments go. As if I have a choice. I love every kiss.
I see another reason why some people have babies instead of baby, I see another reason why my mom has wanted a grandchild since way before I knew what a girlfriend really was. Our brains never let us recollect with perfect fidelity so we carry on and recreate. How can we not become addicted to creating such beauty. Will I begin to think of grandchildren as soon my youngest has teenage cheeks?