All newborn babies are cute little things, right?
Not all newborn babies?
Oh, I see.
Yeah, that wrinkly alien-thing with the one eye open.
Ooh. And that one with what looks like pubic hair on its head.
And that. Clean yourself up, you icky thing.
Okay, so not all newborn babies are the cutest thing known to humankind.
Oh, but look at them.
All together in the nursery. Quiet and content. Even that colicky one over there in the corner.
They are precious, aren’t they?
When I was a wee lad living in the poorer parts of middle Tennessee, I was scooped up every Wednesday night by a battered van filled sporadically with churchgoing kids.
What I remember most on those Wednesday night children services was that I was the ‘yellow’ kid.
As the song went: Red, yellow, black, and white. They are precious in our sight.
The preacher would line us ethnically diverse kids up in front of the congregation. My sole job was to stand still between the Native American (The ‘Injun’ as she was so pleasantly called) and my buddy, who just happened to be blackish.
When those lyrics hit the air, the preacher would touch our heads in succession: Red; Yellow; Black; White.
It was a dirty job, but I did it well. With no perspective.
Okay, the mid-70s was a shocking mixture of mundane-meets-offensive. Don’t believe me? Just watch an early episode of ‘All in the Family’ and see how many times you can count the word ‘nigger’.
But years later, here I am trying to put in all into perspective and all I can think about are the babies in that nursery room.
All those babies in that nursery room, cooing, crying, or pooping. They actually have no real agenda. No real political motives.
It’s so trite of a thing to write about. The innocence of children.
But look at that crowd of hatemongers. Those grown-ups. Imagine them in that nursery. Not yet walking. Not yet talking. That’s them. Those grown-ups full of self-validated hatred. They were once in that nursery. Holding their own feet. Their diapers full of shit and piss. Their mouths aching for the nipple, plastic or real. Their eyes open to what the world offers.
We gathered as babies. Surpassing the insurmountable odds of not being born. Only to grow up adding hatred to the world.
Adding sorrow to our nursery.
It’s a contribution that takes away contribution.
If it’s your right to prolong a hatred for another newborn that just happens to share the nursery room with you, know that you were once like that other newborn. Struggling to become alive. Seeking love first. Seeking comfort and safety.
Seeking each other.
Love. Always. Win.