Sunday, May 20, 2012

She's Upstairs with Sarah

'Where's the baby?" I ask coming out of the bathroom.

Having grown up in a house with just two brothers - the two most wonderful men in the world, by the way! - the younger of whom was only two years my junior, babies hardly ever came my way. It's not that we didn't have strong paternal affection for them though. Again, this younger brother and I were the loving fathers of two African-Canadian Cabbage Patch Kids.

What I wouldn't have done for a baby in the house! All of us. How our lives would have been markedly improved. Just like Sarah-Grace's life is now being blessed by playing with her baby sister one-on-one in her bedroom. In this day and age, that is an enviable scenario. Girls do not cease to love babies because their parents do not often give them siblings. I know this because, as a boy I did not!

What does a baby do for a girl, for a child?

Gives joy. For as difficult as it is to raise children, the hug of a little baby, her smile, her laugh, her silly noise, are serotonin factories.

Teaches empathy. Sadly lacking today. Real empathy, not I-heart-you-text-empathy. The baby is not like you and the child quickly learns that everyone has different needs and experiences things differently.

Teaches how to raise children. Teaches how to be a mom or dad. If you actually think those are good things!

Orients us back to the civilization of love. Loving human relationship are what matter most. That is the only kind of success that truly matters. Part of the ethical crisis facing young people today - nay, our society as a whole - could be solved by the addition of a baby to the family. Remember me bashing those Quebecois yesterday? Well, their behaviour is not their fault: they were only children and their families were, thus, quite susceptible to thing-orientation and to shallow relationships. They didn't learn to live authentically.

While most of her peers have posters of Justin Bieber on their walls, or those teenage vampires, Sarah-Grace has pictures of her baby sister.

A father couldn't be prouder.

(The attached pictures are all per my sister-in-law's, Mary Jane's, request, very delayed in satisfying!)

1 comment:

  1. There is this new award-winning program called "Roots of Empathy" where a mother and new baby visit a school classroom every month for the baby's first year of life. The children ask questions and observe a mother nurturing her child. It apparently is actually backed by research as decreasing bullying rates etc. in schools as children become more in tune with empathy.

    I find it all fascinating. Yet, it seems sad, because at one point, we wouldn't need a classroom-setting to provide this kind of 'education' as women with babies would be happening in our own homes (or, at least a regular occurrence in extended families).

    Also it is so adorable that Sarah-Grace has pictures of her baby sister in her room!