Babies have been affecting me for some time now. But lately, it’s been a different affection.

I increasingly marvel at them as small tiny miracles that I cannot get my head around.

I hold them in my hands, where three of my own once lay, and I wonder.

I like how biology makes it certain that most of the time, its young women who have children. Their backs are strong. Their minds are fresh. They tote few premonitions or prejudices. They go at motherhood with gusto and fervency, eager to remember each moment. They will memorize the day that dust motes played in that one’s children’s hair as he sat in a bright doorway… and would long to forget the aching fear -and would do so but for the jagged relief – when for an eternal moment on a regular day, for the briefest time, another got lost in a crowd.

When my three were wee I did the above.

But lately, I wonder that I had such confidence, in babes and me.

I held a babe today, I thought how marvelous he was. And then I thought how joyous I am that he’s not mine because I no longer have that innocent confidence required of motherhood in the early years. I think of what rests on his and all his ilk’s tiny shoulders, and as I rub my hand along his tiny back and pat his milk-swollen belly, the truth that he is, they are, the future, stills my heart. It’s this that never fails to humble me.

I hold the future in my hand and be they brown, black, red, white or a mixture of any and all, they are what is to come.

And so it goes.

I lay him down, and as I watched him smile, I wondered why did he do that? His tiny, fat cheeked face was pleased when I rubbed his soft nose with my own. It was pure pleasure to him, my holding and loving. He held my offered fingers and as he clasped I wondered. Will be heal sick bodies or maybe build houses? Will he preach the Good News or sculpt a masterpiece? Whatever he does, I hope it’s his fate, his choice, to learn true joy years from now.

It’s better to leave the tiny babies to strong backs and fresh minds, for it’s my time to rock them and comfort them, and sing them old songs because I am wise and know that they are capable. They were made for the job. And I won’t be shy and my own brand of old confidence will reach their tender souls as I silently pray, “Bless them Father, for it’s you that has big plans for them, and I am confident in You.. and because of that, them.”

Happy New Year.