The Smile of a Fat Baby

The sun over Indiana was bright and hot today.  It would have felt great if I was next to a pool with a Corona in my hand. This, however, was not the case.  I spent the day driving between home visits and made a special discovery about my car’s A/C. 

It is no longer the ice-making machine that it once was in days gone past.   

My last stop of the day brought me to check-in on a sick little guy.  I arrived with drops of sweat sliding down my back and my face was in a full state of glisten.  The little guy’s mom flicked her cigarette into the yard and let me inside, watching me the whole time with a dark pair of suspicious eyes.

Her answers were clipped and she kept her arms crossed, while on the ground, the sound of mucus gurgled from the trach of her baby.  He rested in a bouncy-bassinet-contraption with a monitor hooked up to his big toe, checking on his oxygen level.  In his chubby arms, he lovingly held onto a plastic sea-creature.  

After a few minutes, his mom picked him up in an almost obligatory show of affection.  It didn’t matter to the boy if it was real or forced, he was getting snuggles from his mama.  I watched as the baby reached up and grabbed the ring in his mother’s lip.  I gasped as the baby gave the ring a playful tug in fear that it was about to be yanked out. 

Much to my surprise, the woman laughed and the baby pulled his arm back.  He looked straight in my eyes and nodded with a gummy smile.

I don’t spend much time with infants but I got a feeling from that smile, deep in my gut.  It is the same feeling that tells me to double check my locks, look over my shoulder, to keep asking questions or to stop talking, and to trust the seemingly untrustworthy.  He might be a fat baby with a few medical problems and a young mother, but he’s also an old soul who is going to be ok, whatever that means.  

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