One of the things I love about having a baby is how much joy he brings to others-family members, friends, people at church. Even strangers at the grocery store and restaurant can’t help but smile and talk to him. I had a great conversation with an elderly woman at the store the other day because she stopped her motorized cart to look upon him. We talked for a while about her family, then she thanked me for talking with her. I think it made the day for both of us.
Even today, while I was at the store, I stopped three or four times for some friendly folks to smile at him and try to get him to smile back. One kind lady in particular was asking me questions about him and just loving the innocence and sweetness that he exudes.
Then she did it. It always makes me cringe a little. I just ignore it and smile, but inside I am thinking, “Please don’t do that.” Anytime I stop to let someone look at him, I hope they won’t do it. I’ll even stand back a little, slightly out of reach. It doesn’t always help though, and it didn’t today. She reached over and grabbed his hand.
It may not seem like a big deal, but in about thirty seconds, his hand will be in his mouth. This is cold and flu season. If someone has coughed into their hand, scratched their nose, touched something especially germy, all of that is going into his mouth in a matter of minutes-or seconds. Hopefully I will get around the corner and be able to use my natural hand sanitizer on him before his hand reaches his mouth.
You see, I wait until I get around the corner to clean his hand because I get it. It is super difficult to see a baby and not touch him. It’s so tempting. Babies are soft, they smell good, and they are so incredibly cute. If you’re lucky they smile back at you innocently and warm your heart. I don’t want to offend someone who just wants a little of that joy for a moment.
Might I make a gentle suggestion, though? Baby feet are just as cute as baby hands, and generally they are covered. When I see a baby and I can’t resist reaching out and feeling the sweetness, I feel his little baby feet. You could even get away with gently rubbing the back of his head. But please, try to avoid anything, like his hand, that he is going to end up chewing. It’s like kissing him on the mouth. And please don’t do that either.