I love babies. Their clean, new innocence makes me want to hold them, smell them, touch them.
I know I am not the only one. Every day, someone wants to chuck a baby’s chin, stroke a baby’s arm, or hold someone else’s baby. In the store, at church, even total strangers smile and want to see the baby or hold their children up so they can see him. Even stodgy, yuppie types give half a smile and nod to the babe-in-arms.
What makes most people give goofy faces and noises to extract a smile back from a baby?
Why—when newborns look basically like little old men—do we croon about how beautiful they are?
And when they get fat and develop a glistening dribble of spit on the lip, why do we exclaim how adorable they are?
I think it’s because we naturally protect. Our nature causes most of us to envelope the innocent and helpless. Some think of the potential lying in that baby carrier and all the life ahead of it. We imagine how confused we must have felt when we were that size. We think of this small bundle as incapable of wrongdoing, worthy of protection and advancement.
Our thoughts mirror those Socrates called for in his dying words, that our children justly deserve our input during their journey to be our rulers.
We naturally call up thoughts like Plato expressed in his Republic, that the beginning is the most important part of any work, for that is when the character is formed.
We echo Aristotle’s Rhetoric where he says pity may well up in those who think we may eventually find some sort of good inside a person.
Even in Homer’s Iliad, we find:
He stretched his arms towards his child, but the boy cried and nestled in his nurse’s bosom, scared at the sight of his father’s armor, and the horsehair plume that nodded fiercely from his helmet. His father and mother laughed to see him, but Hector took the helmet from his head and laid it all gleaming upon the ground. Then he took his darling child, kissed him, and dandled him in his arms…
The thought of a ferocious warrior, removing his armor for a baby, rings true in our hearts. We may not realize we have such bold and universally defended thoughts. However, although written a bazillion years ago, this tender scene resonates with most of us, much as meeting a stranger’s helpless baby in an elevator does.
The fact is that every human with a truthful heart cares about a baby.
We can even say that about dogs: often they sense, they know.
The protection due a baby can alter what we would expect their reactions to be, can surprise us, as does the reaction of a seeming iron-clad soul in a chance meeting with a baby.
All of the above is one good reason not to abort.
And a good reason to homeschool.
4 thoughts on “Babies!”
I agree. Although, I’ve had a lot of thoughts about my next step–when the kids are older. My drive is towards a career in medicine-probably as a nurse or nurse practitioner.
At first, I thought I’d like to go into pediatrics, but someone said “everyone wants pediatrics”. I think for a lot of the same reasons you mention here–which are all good reasons and an extreme blessing.
Still, those old men were someone’s baby at one point. And they, along with old women and everyone else, are God’s baby. So, I’m starting to lean towards geriatrics. Maybe even hospice.
Oh, I love geriatrics! I know they can be so fun. Or not, depending on how the past was spent. I used to work in a nursing home as a nurses’ aid. I love them to pieces. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! 🙂
Amen. I smiled through the whole post – and that passage from the Illiad?! Loved it.
Thank you, FLM! I loved it, too. I couldn’t believe my eyes, in fact, in this wartime historical fiction, from so many eons ago, which I found to be rather dry, to find such a tender passage. I could hardly find any Greek lit. worthy of study beyond Aesop, but this was definitely part of our studies!