An unexpected Christmas gift
Then I held onto my oldest niece, and she changed that behaviour for every baby who has ever crossed my path.
Whenever I held her, she screamed and cried. The second she was passed onto someone else, she would stop. The kid hated me. Thankfully, that behaviour passed. Still, it affected me in a somewhat profound way.
I didn’t hold my second niece until she was a little older. This one had no problems lunging herself at me. She was a no-frills baby (i.e. feed her, change her, and put her to sleep) who hardly ever cried.
This Christmas was spent at my sister’s family’s house. My new nephew looked much bigger than the last time I saw him and he’s not even five months old. My sister asked me to hold him while she was prepping lunch and I did (although I was cringing inside, knowing he’d start to ball his eyes out the minute I held him).
But, something happened: My nephew didn’t cry. In fact, he looked at me and didn’t make that face of fear that babies make before they scream for their mommies. He smiled and giggled and would hold onto my sweater, fearing I’d pass him off to someone else; a reassuring thought, even if it’s from an infant.
Even with all of the presents under the tree, this Christmas my nephew gave me an unexpected gift. And it was something I never knew I was ever going to receive.