Just a little baby, lying in my arms,—
Would that I could keep you, with your baby charms;
Helpless, clinging fingers, downy, golden hair,
Where the sunshine lingers, caught from otherwhere;
Blue eyes asking questions, lips that cannot speak,
Roly-poly shoulders, dimple in your cheek;
Dainty little blossom in a world of woe,
Thus I fain would keep you, for I love you so.
Roguish little damsel, scarcely six years old,—
Feet that never weary, hair of deeper gold;
Restless, busy fingers all the time at play,
Tongue that never ceases talking all the day;
Blue eyes learning wonders of the world about,
Here you come to tell them,— what an eager shout!—
Winsome little damsel, all the neighbors know;
Thus I long to keep you, for I love you so.
Sober little schoolgirl, with your strap of books,
And such grave importance in your puzzled looks;
Solving weary problems, poring over sums,
Yet with tooth for sponge-cake and for sugar-plums;
Reading books of romance in your bed at night,
Waking up to study with the morning light;
Anxious as to ribbons, deft to tie a bow,
Full of contradictions, — I would keep you so.
Sweet and thoughtful maiden, sitting by my side,
All the world’s before you, and the world is wide;
Hearts are there for winning, hearts are there to break,
Has your own, shy maiden, just begun to wake?
Is that rose of dawning glowing on your cheek
Telling us in blushes what you will not speak?
Shy and tender maiden, I would fain forego
All the golden future, just to keep you so.
Ah! the listening angels saw that she was fair,
Ripe for rare unfolding in the upper air;
Now the rose of dawning turns to lily white,
And the close-shut eyelids veil the eyes from sight;
All the past I summon as I kiss her brow,—
Babe, and child, and maiden, all are with me now.
Though my heart is breaking, yet God’s love I know,—
Safe among the angels, I would keep her so.
~Louise Chandler Moulton~
This is a picture from an article called “The Rescuing Hug” that details the first week of life of a set of twins.
Apparently, each was in their respective incubators, and one was not expected to live. A hospital nurse fought against the hospital rules and placed the babies in one incubator. When they were placed together, the healthier of the two threw an arm over her sister in an endearing embrace. The smaller baby’s heart rate stabilized and her temperature rose to normal.
Let us not forget to embrace those whom we love.
A seasonal poem from approximately 450 years ago…
Waigh not His crib, His wooden dish,
Nor beast that by Him feed:
Waigh not His Mother’s poor attire,
Nor Josephs simple weed.
This stable is a Princes courte,
The cribbe His chaire of State;
The beastes are parcell of His Pompe,
The wodden dishe His plate.
The persons in that poore attire,
His royall liveries weare,
The Prince Himselfe is come from heaven,
This pompe is prized there.
With joy approach, O Christian wight,
Doe homage to thy King;
And highly praise His humble Pompe,
Which He from Heaven doth bring.
~Robert Southwell~ 1561-1595
A friend gave birth to her first born child on March 17th. Welcome to the World, Julia Elizabeth.
The Model of Mothers
And it came to pass, in the sixth day of overtime, when the Lord was creating mothers, an angel appeared and said: “You certainly are doing a lot of extra work on this one.”
The Lord replied, “Have you read the specifications on this order? She has to be completely washable, not plastic; have 180 moveable parts … all replaceable; run on black coffee and leftovers; have a lap which disappears when she stands up; a kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a broken heart; and six pairs of hands!”
The angel sighed and said, “Six pairs of hands! That’s impossible!”
“It isn’t the hands that are causing the problem,” said the Lord, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that all mothers have to have.”
“Is that on all standard models?” asked the angel.
The Lord nodded. “One pair of eyes to see through locked doors when she asks; “What are you kids doing in there?” when she already knows. Another pair here, in the back of her head to see what she shouldn’t see, but has to know; and of course, a pair here in front that can look at her child when he goofs up, and without saying a word, tell him, “I understand and I love you.”
“Lord,” said the angel, touching his sleeve gently. “Come rest awhile. Try again tomorrow.”
“I can’t!” said the Lord. “I’m so near to creating something close to my own image. Already this model can heal herself; work miracles to feed a family of six with one pound of hamburger; and get a young boy of nine to stand under a shower.”
The angel walked around the model of the mother very slowly. “Too soft,” sighed the angel.
“But tough,” commented the Lord excitedly. “You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure!”
“But can she think?” the angel asked.
“Not only that, but reason and compromise,” said the Creator.
At the end of the inspection, the angel leaned closer to the model of mothers, ran a finger across her cheek. “There’s a leak here,” the angel noted. “I told you that you were trying to put too much into this work of creation!”
“That’s not a leak, my friend, it’s a tear.”
“A tear,” replied the angel, “What’s that for?”
“It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride in her children,” the Lord answered.
“You surely are a genius,” exclaimed the angel, “to think of putting a tear on her cheek.”
The Lord looked very solemn indeed. “I didn’t put it there,” he said.