My boyfriend has baby fever. Our friends recently had a baby (we’ll call them “Seth” and “Brittney” since they may not want the Internet to know their business), and Paul has been cooing about their baby nonstop ever since Brittney went into labor.
The other day, Paul was looking at facebook and getting giddy about the fact that Brittney had posted more baby pictures. “Oh! Their baby is so cute!”
“Don’t write any weird comments,” I told him.
“I was going to write, ‘I want your baby,’” Paul said, and I wasn’t sure whether or not he was kidding.
On Tuesday, we brought a pan of enchiladas over to Seth and Brittney’s house so we could eat dinner with them and meet their six-day-old son.
At first, Paul was too nervous to hold the little guy, but soon enough he was sitting on the couch with the baby in his arms, looking blissful. “He’s so tiny!” Paul marveled.
“Yeah, we do a lot of baby staring around here,” Seth said. “He’s fun to look at.”
“So, um, how was the birth?” Paul asked, laughing awkwardly.
“Long,” Brittney said. She had already told me about the process earlier. I’ve heard other women’s birth stories, but each one is a little different, and I’m always interested to hear the details of how they brought new life into the world.
“I got really into it,” Seth said. “I mean, I know it’s a cliché, but it really was amazing. You know, the miracle of birth and all.”
“My parents gave me a pop-up book about sex when I was four,” Paul said, “And I was enthralled. It was a pretty graphic book. I didn’t know what anything was called, so I went around telling other kids, ‘the baby comes out of the baby-coming-out-place, and you wouldn’t even believe it unless you saw it.’”
We all laughed, but Seth nodded. “Well, yeah. I mean, you can’t really believe it until you see it. I know babies get born every day and women have been doing this for ages, but still, when it happens to you — when it’s your baby — it just seems so incredibly special.”
“Of course it does.” I played with the baby’s tiny fingers, which curled instinctively around mine. This baby’s pretty cute, I thought, but I’ll think mine is the cutest, the most amazing. Four million babies are born each year, but still, when it happens to you, it’s special.
I’m not having a baby any time soon, but I might be bringing something else into the world: a book. Exciting things have been happening, and I feel I’m getting closer and closer to a published novel.
Of course people write books all the time. Thousands of novels are published in the U.S. each year, and most of them you haven’t heard of. But still, it must be amazing when the story that grew inside your mind is finally born into the world. It’s a process, and it’s a little different for every author, and it’s always a bit of a miracle when it finally happens. Even though I know it’s going to happen for me one day, it’s still hard to imagine. Maybe I won’t believe it until I see it.
A baby, a book: it’s special every time.