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Don’t Babies Make The World Go Around?

What is it about babies that makes us want to touch a woman’s pregnant belly? What makes us want to nibble babies’ toes?

Babies are human magnets. Their innocence and vulnerability draw us to them. Of course, when they aren’t ours, we feel innocent when they scream and we don’t feel vulnerable when they need a diaper change.

All babies are beautiful. Some are just more beautiful than others. That’s genetics. Teaching the child to be beautiful on the inside – that’s work.

Raising a child is hard work. Many women worry about their lack of experience for what seems like an overwhelming responsibility, but they shouldn’t worry. If a wife has taken care of her husband when he’s been sick, she has experience taking care of a baby.

My first child was the first grandchild on my husband’s side of the family. For two and a half years he was a prince. Then came our second child. Because I’d read books about sibling rivalry and had listened to other mothers tell war stories about it, I worried.

When I brought our new son home, I casually put him on the living room carpet instead of laying him in a manger. My older son took one look at his little brother, asked if that was all he did and then asked his grandmother to take him to the park.

There wouldn’t be second children if Mother Nature didn’t erase some of the delivery memories, but no matter how many children a mother has, the last will always be her baby – even when that baby has babies. A mother won’t outgrow motherhood until Peter Pan grows up.

Then there are the grandparents. They lovingly hold their grandchildren, looking for family resemblances, for inherited traits. Secretly, however, they’re hoping this child gives their child as much trouble as their child gave them.

All too soon the baby is a toddler, then an adolescent, then a teenager. When you look at your teenagers, it’s hard to believe you’d been eager for them to talk – not talk back. You’d looked forward to their taking their first step – not walking into the garage to get into their car. You were excited about their first day of school – not paying for college.

In time children turn their parents into babies. All too soon we’re the ones crying – at their baptisms, at their graduations and at their weddings.

KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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