Yesterday I held a baby for the first time. He had some goo in his eye, but boy did he have tiny hands and feet. At the time I kept thinking about Eraserhead (note to the mother of the baby: he does not look like that baby, I just like that movie), but the guy was pretty darn cute.
However, holding a baby is a terrifying experience. I have no idea how people can be so cavalier about it. You are holding something that is incredibly breakable and that someone loves more than life itself. And it is squirming like it hates you and wants to jump.
This gets at what makes me uncomfortable about babies: I feel like I just couldn’t do right by one. Every time I go near a baby, a chorus of phantom mothers starts screaming in my head to stop. Stop what, I don’t know. There are a million ways to accidentally harm a baby. Just being myself around a baby would harm it. A baby requires quiet reverence, and I just don’t know if I can do that.
Then there is the part about people loving babies more than life itself. To the mother, the baby is a frothy mix of God and self and love. I don’t want to get caught in the crossfire of those vibes. They are eerie to an outsider. Mothers have insane relationships with their babies that I could never begin to understand, and that makes me feel sort of ashamed. I think this will be way worse in twenty years, when all my friends are nattering on about life in the magic world I missed the boat to.
But this mother is cool, and meeting her baby was pretty awesome. I didn’t even get weirded out when she breastfed. Actually I did kind of, just because I have only ever done that sort of business with grownups and that’s a completely different thing that I don’t want to think about around a baby.
Actually, I don’t want to think about anything I normally think about around a baby. That’s my point.