Holding a Child

A crying child–the one thing any normal person can’t stand listening to.

“Pick her up,” she commanded. Excuse me? You want me to pick her up? Me, the pathetic, twenty-year-old male who’s never handled a child under two in his life? Her, the crying child under two? You must be joking, right? But the fact that she already had one child in her arms, this child wasn’t about to finish crying, and that stern look told me she wasn’t joking. Okay, here goes nothing.

And so I picked up the crying child. Not knowing at all what to do, I just picked her up, and her little body found a comfortable spot next to mine. Her head rested softly against my chest, and her tiny fingers clutched my shirt sleeves. Her crying ceased. In my arms was a ball of life. A miniature person who probably knows and understands more than she lets on. A person with golden blond hair who shares her plastic carrots and likes to eat Cheerios. A person who can’t do much of anything for herself, and relies on you for comfort, strength, warmth, sustenance–just about everything.

She clung to my shirt like it was the side of a cliff, probably because I wasn’t holding her right. She sat there drooling, content as could be, completely unaware of the barrage of thoughts charging through my head. Who would have thought that picking up a child could make you think so much?

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