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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

What Baby Knows

Basking in the fuzzy, lemon rays of sunshine pouring through the window sits the Mama. And sleeping in her rounded arms, nestled like a dove in satiny tufts of pink on pink lays the baby,
the beloved baby,
the baby of her delight.

Bounding around the corner with dirty face and sticky fingers comes the big sister,
her pride and joy;
the first born.

She crawls onto the couch and, snuggling close, flops her dolly across Mama’s lap. She licks her lips and then asks, “Can she play dolls with me?”

“No,” Mama answered, “baby doesn’t know about dolls yet.”

“Can she talk?”

“No,” said Mama, “baby doesn’t know words yet.”

Big sister wiggled, then kicked and squirmed. After a great deal of thought she asked, “How does the baby know we love her?” A little bird that was perched on the windowsill spread her wings and flew away, carrying that question straight to heaven.

Mama thought, and thought some more. And while she thought her free hand brushed silky ribbons of hair off her eldest daughter’s sweaty forehead. Finally, she caught the answer.

“Baby knows,” she said, baby knows.”

“In the morning, in the rose hued, dew glistened morning, when baby is quiet and alert, I look deep into the blue pools of her eyes. And looking back into my eyes, she coos. And then I coo, mimicking her baby song. We stare and coo, and stare and coo, as I softly caress her sweet cheek with the crook of my finger.

“And so baby knows I am hers and she is mine.

“Baby knows she is valued. Baby knows.”

“And in the afternoon, in the work-play-work-play-go-here-go-there afternoon, when baby is lonely and afraid, I clutch her close to my chest. The familiar bass noted thumping of my beating heart comforts her and I feel her tense body relax into a bundle of warm, snuggly calm.

“And so baby knows she is not alone.

“Baby knows her world is safe. Baby knows.”

"And in the evening, in the family-gathered-around-the kitchen-table evening, when Mama is distracted by the task at hand, baby turns her interest elsewhere. Reaching out with her whole fist, She grabs Papa’s finger, and gazing intensely at his brown eyes and broad face, she smiles. Excited by her big sister’s animated chatter, she kicks her legs and gurgles.

“And so Baby knows she is one part of a bigger whole.

“Baby knows what family is. Baby knows.”

“And at night, in the dark gray, softly humming night when Baby’s frantic cry pierces the silence, I bring her to my bed. And, curling her legs into my warm stomach, she nurses until she is filled. Satisfied, she sleeps once more.

“And so baby knows when she is hungry she will be fed.
“Baby knows her needs will be met. Baby knows."

You see, words don’t teach baby what love is, our actions do. Love is what builds her universe. Love is what she understands through experience. Love is what she feels as her life unfolds.

“And so Baby knows love is something much bigger than herself.

“Baby knows she is the object of great affection.

Baby knows.”

By C. C. Kurzeja
2005 All Rights Reserved

7 comments:

Flicka Spumoni said...

I always envisioned this one in pencil sketch with watercolors.

Justine said...

Would that every child on earth knew "what baby knows."

Delightful. Thank you.

Flicka Spumoni said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, Justine.

I really do consider you to be one of the most creative and masterful writers I've ever "met". So, your encouragement means a lot to me.

Serena said...

That was just beautiful, Flicka! I can't say much more than that. I've got tears in my eyes.
Love and shalom,
Serena
Glad to see you back!

Billy D said...

That was great! Do you write children's books? I totally agree about the pencil sketch and watercolor thing. Perfect.

Morris said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful. Enough said.

Flicka Spumoni said...

Thank you so much for slogging through my children's story. You guys are awesome. I adore the whole children's lit genre. I'm glad to share it with you all.