Do I have the fever, the baby fever?

from the blog archive —

They just had a baby. A truly beautiful little girl — Gwyneth Adler [last name]. And I got to hold her for a moment a mere week after her birth. She was the newest baby I’d ever held (to date) and, truth be told, I wanted one. I wanted a little baby of my own to swoon over, to investigate, to observe her (or his) every move. I wanted a newborn to sleep beside, to snuggle with, to gently bounce while walking laps through the apartment, calming her (or his) restless spirit. I wanted a teeny tiny human to smell, to cuddle, to bathe, to get up in the night for, to stay up with, to sit silently with. I want to tell her (or him) stories, read books, write every accomplishment in her (or his) journal (like my parents did for me), and feed her (or him) with sweet kisses.

That same day, we met up with some friends for breakfast (turned into brunch after waiting for a table) at Mama’s Royal Cafe (I love the challah french toast from this Oakland dive) and I couldn’t stop staring — or maybe I was lusting — after their 14-month old little girl, Riley. She’s a chunk of spirit — lots of smiles, playful, and 100% snuggable. Oh, I wanted one of her, too. I wanted to take this little girl for walks and stop and smell every flower; let her dress herself and encourage her creativity — applauding when she exits her room in a purple tutu, a graphic tee, striped leggings, and a punchy headband, her toes painted pink from our last girls night.

The next day at church, I held a friend’s 4-month old little boy. He was a hefty bugger but that didn’t stop him from snuggling heavily into my shoulder during meetings. He had a good amount of drool and sucked on my hands when he wasn’t staring above at the ceiling light fixtures. At one point, he fell asleep on my chest and my heart melted. He was heavenly.

A few weeks back, I traveled to the eastern side of Washington to visit my family and meet my newest niece — Clara Kristin [last name]. I held this little one and felt a great sense of peace. It came to mind, while holding the sweet 4-week old, that nothing else mattered. I was doing precisely what I should be doing at that exact moment: holding this precious, pure, and brand new human. I thought to myself, holding a newborn could solve every problem the world has. Why? How? Because wee things put a pause on life. They require much attention, and usually it must be undivided attention. They feel good cradled in your arms and all you want to do is protect the tiny being and tell her (or him) about the wonderful life that’s ahead. You want to read her (or him) every story and kiss her (or him) nonstop. You want to rest her (or his) head in the crook of your arm, even after it goes stiff and you develop a crick in your back. You’re unfazed, because at this very moment, you are still. You are holding a most precious something that is relying on you completely. And because baby snuggles are the best and you never want them to stop.

Me holding brand new baby Clara

Oh sweet babies. They smell nice. They feel nice. They love you. They look at you inquisitively, straight into your soul. They need you. They depend on you. They’ll sit still with you.

I want one.

Right now, my fears of motherhood are in the far distance. But before you correct me and call me a fool, know that I am not so naive to think they’re not still there, lurking. It’ll take more than holding a few babies to feel ready for motherhood.

But today, I’m closer to being ready than I was.

Originally published at katiecenterbrooks.blogspot.com on May 6, 2014.

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