Yesterday, visited with Loey and her parents. Got there at 11:30 and Loey still hadn't taken her first nap of the day. We had fun playing for a while, but then I sat down on the rocking chair with her sitting upright in my lap. Rocked slowly back and forth, listening to music, singing quiet songs to her.
Little by little she learned forward, her eyes glazing over....soon she was holding herself just a few inches away from my shoulder...and then her eyes closed and she descended the rest of the way: asleep!
Having a baby, any baby but especially my granddaughter, fall asleep on my chest is one of the finest experiences of my life. And I've lots of these experiences, because wherever I am, I seek out babies to hold, to engage, to befriend, to love. Every single one of them. Whenever I can.
Are you a new dad or granddad? If so, please, please, please make an extra effort to claim your "equal time": your baby or grandbaby needs to be held by men as well as women. They need to get comfortable with you at an early age, and feel your love.
But more importantly, I believe that men need to hold babies, need to feel their warmth and softness, fragility and strength, need to be deeply connected to the most vulnerable in our society.
Then perhaps fewer men would be violent towards children and fewer men would be so ready to cut government funding for programs that keep children healthy, happy and safe.