Last week I went to Kansas to visit my grand babies. First of all, I can't imagine how I suddenly got grandchildren when I'm only twenty five in my head. I swear it was yesterday that I was rappelling off cliffs and flipping upside down for fun photo ops and running down the train tracks during PE to go see friends at the other high school.
Nevertheless, I unaccountably have three of the most adorable offspring on the planet. Full on truth. A is four and has been planning to run the world since she was one. N is her willing henchman and accomplice when he isn't hounding people to be his baketbaw 'oop.
But the new little cannonball has stolen my heart. I checked. It's quite missing. There's just something so absolutely disarming about having a softy little bundle cuddled up on my chest and nuzzling my neck. It's been years since my own were that tiny. If they tried to climb on my chest now, I'd fight them off and bellow at them. But W was a fixture I wish was still cuddled up under my chin.
The second most amazing thing about him (after world-class softy cuddling skills) were his eyes. Those tiny orbs gazed straight into my soul and read everything I've ever done or planned. He has come straight from his Maker, new-minted and still with angel dust burnishing his brow. I could see it in those amazing, ancient eyes.
As I sat there relishing the contact, smelling his baby head, revelling in the tactile feast, I wondered what kind of a monster could gaze into eyes like those and ever contemplate taking the life of a baby. Maybe we should rent him out to people awaiting abortions. I'm convinced that they couldn't go through with it. How could they?
Similarly, how could someone look at that tiny sucking blister on his rosebud lips and do anything unkind to any child? Sure, he'll grow up to be a product of his parents, and thus offensive to one faction or another. Adults often suffer from the disease of hatred. But now, when his potential is all ahead of him, the thought is unconscionable.
Where is the dividing line between precious babyhood and that moment when he becomes an object of hatred? Why should there be a line? Especially, why should there be ill feeling against him before he has even had a chance to do anything wrong?
I used to think it would be interesting to have a mechanism with which we could read the intentions of another person, other than his face and body. But then I realize that such a device could have possibilities so evil we can't even comprehend them all. True there would be no secret thoughts of mayhem or murderous anger, but also there would be no private thoughts of any kind, no secret hopes and dreams. I dearly hope, after thinking about the ramifications, that we never have to wear such a monstrous device.
What, then, can Baby W. do to combat the mindless hatred he'll encounter in his life? I'm convinced that he'll need to remain close to that place from whence he has just come. He'll have to learn to follow the spirit and listen and learn to treat people with love and respect. That might not save him from every evil, but he'll have a much better chance.
Now if only he can survive the slightly less-than-gentle ministrations of his elder siblings.