While in line at a Walmart in a small mountain town, I found myself transfixed by the wisp of a passing man walking around with the incredibly small babe against his chest. This creature, glued to him, his hand on the small of its back, pinning it upright against his dirty black tank top.
By the time I was in line, all eyes were on him and the, “small baby,” “new baby.” As I was practicing my new hobby of eavesdropping the woman in line behind me, was educating her son, “they can’t regulate their body temperature,” she stated. My eyes glued to the infant’s, the mother behind me continued, “They don’t know, these kids these days, no one is teaching them.” She commented on the discoloration of the tiny legs as we inched forward in our line. I wanted to turn around and shake her, tell her to save the world; implore her with the much loved, “if you’re not a part of the solution,” and really look deep into her eyes as I inform her that she is a part of the problem.
But I didn’t know any better either. Plus, don’t people just do the best they can? What separates me from the man clutching the two week old of a baby? As my nail polish moved up the conveyor belt, I felt transfixed, repeatedly telling myself over the din that babies are resilient, almost as resilient as busy body humans who just can’t help themselves.