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Archive for May 30, 2013

The Baby Who Changed Everything

Cora gives me a thumbs-up.

Cora gives me a thumbs-up.

< by Jill >

I am of the belief that there’s an unspoken agreement amongst women that when you see a baby, you’re supposed to oooh and aaah and then ratchet up your voice and shriek, Can I hold that beautiful, sweet little nugget? Unfortunately for yours truly, I’m not wired up to respond that way.

For the first quarter-century of my life, I avoided babies and babies avoided me. I’d go to a party, spot the baby, and make a b-line to the food table where I’d load up a paper plate with so many brownies and olives that, ah shucks, my hands are full and I can’t hold the baby. Sometimes, though, the momma would spot me first and make an introduction. Wanting to be polite, I’d oooh and aaah and squeal out those fateful words, Can I hold your helpless drooling spawn precious baby child. At the moment of transfer, when the baby’s weight became mine, the baby would freeze up like a two-by-four and begin wailing.

Cora changed everything, but not right away.

On June 12, 2010, Cora entered the world. My dad called me up and we organized a road-trip, heading from Chicago to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. When we arrived, Dale met us at the door and we found Ann seated on the couch with the little one. She was so little. At first, I didn’t want to hold her. But it wasn’t because of that 25-year-tradition of regarding babies as helpless drooling spawn. It was because I loved her immediately and I didn’t want to break her or harm her in any way.

It took about four hours of looking at Cora, of touching her wispy hair and smelling her new-baby-smell, to muster the confidence to hold her. And at the moment she transferred into my arms, all six pounds of her weight melted into mine. Cora is the baby who changed everything.