365 Things to Look Forward to — Number 24: Babies

24. Babies

No, I am not expecting a baby. At my age, I don’t think I will ever be expecting a baby of my own again. Don’t get me wrong…I love babies, and I would love to have babies. My body just isn’t up for it anymore.

So, why do I look forward to babies? They’re just adorable! Totally absolutely adorably cute little bundles of sweetness and joy.

What brought this on? My son has a photograph of himself holding a baby…his godchild at a christening. Several months ago, my daughter posted a photograph of herself holding a baby as well…her boyfriend’s newborn niece or nephew. A couple of months ago, my sister just gave birth to her 3rd baby, a girl this time; over a year ago, she had her 2nd baby, her first natural-born boy.

And all over Facebook, former students of mine are posting pregnancy photographs and photographs of themselves with little babies. And friends and former classmates in my generation are posting photographs of their grandchildren.

Let’s face it….it’s very difficult to find a baby that’s not cute or adorable, in its own way. They’re cutest when they’ve rounded out a bit–usually around (no pun intended) a couple of weeks to a month after they’re born and their skin isn’t all wrinkly and blotchy anymore. Once their cheeks have filled out and they start opening their eyes, they become just irresistible. They no longer look like fragile little creatures that might break apart the moment you touch them. From then on, until they start running about, they are just the most wonderful and charming little creatures and you just want to hold them and cuddle them, feel their warmth, their silky soft skin, their tiny little hands and feet.

As for the cuteness factor? For arguments’ sake, I’ll say: Arya is a baby. All babies are cute. Therefore Arya is cute. And because All babies are cute, you can put in any baby’s name in the first and last statements and it’ll be true. What I’m not going to argue about is the relative degrees of cuteness. All parents will insist their baby is the cutest infant ever born. Again, I’m not going to argue. I’ll have to say some babies are definitely cuter than others, or better-looking than others. That’s a case of genetics, really. I’ll have to admit I’ve seen some babies out there whose appearance totally repels my aesthetic sensibilities. But I’m biased, okay? I’m a sucker for big bright wide-open eyes, long curled lashes, rosy pink silky smooth cheeks. I’ve nothing against chinky eyes, really…they are actually becoming on some people…babies included. But all my babies had lovely big bright wide long-lashed eyes.

The one thing that all babies do share is the tiny puckered rosy mouth. Funny how a toothless pucker in a baby is absolutely irresistibly darling while the same thing doesn’t apply to toothless adults. It’s gotta be the undeveloped jaws and the undeveloped chin. And, of course, the little button nose that goes with undeveloped nasal ridges.

This fascination with babies inspires me to use them as subjects for my paintings, which is one of the several projects I already have on the back burner of my mile-long stove with hundreds of back burners. Just wait till I’m done with my requirements for the completion of my Diploma and I will be clearing those back burners faster than even I can imagine!

It makes me want to have babies over again.

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