Baby Baby

This is the latest in my series of blog entries taking a fresh look at a variety of topics over the next year. I’ve set up a page on the blog explaining the project and linking to my entries. This week’s topic is “Newborn Babies.”

So in the last couple of months or so, we’ve had “Your Children” and “Children In General” and now “Newborn Babies.” My thoughts on newborn babies? Um, they’re kinda like children in general, but smaller. I was tempted to link to The Onion’s Babies Are Stupid article, but it’s kinda tacky.

I guess the only other thing I would add is that it’s impossible for me to hold or be around a newborn baby without an overwhelming sense of pure potential. Here is a human being with their whole life ahead of them. As we age, a slider moves from one of the spectrum to the other, with potential on one end and realization on the other. At our death, who we are is fully realized. We have no more potential, only accomplishment, however much or little that may be. At birth, none of that potential has yet been realized, all we are is what we will yet become.

In between — the beauty is, we have some control. It’s not a direct linear progression down the spectrum. It’s not so simple as to say that, with each passing day, we have less potential, because we have one less day to work with. The truth is, we have control over how much we do with the time that we have. Potential is a choice. The choices we make, how we take care of ourselves, the situations we put ourselves in, can even determine how many days we do have to work with. We have the ability to move the slider ourselves as we move through life.

It’s an easy thing to forget. But you hold a baby, and you’re reminded of that. Potential. Pure and untapped. Endless possibility.

Me, I’m halfway through my three score and ten. The possibilities are no longer endless. The potential is no longer whole, and certainly no longer untapped. Many of the pages of my life are now writ. But you see a baby, see the book of their life with all the pages still blank, and you realize — you’ve got a lot of blank pages, too.

So what are you going to do with them?

One Response

  1. That is incredible insight, David. Although I have accomplished much in my life and one might say I have been successful in my career in journalism. I have worked for eight newspapers and remained employed consistently, moving up the chain to an editor position, dotted with MPA awards. That’s great and all, but none of it compares to what I am about to be – a Father.
    I cannot imagine what it is going to be like to hold my son for the first time. Just like you said, thinking about all the potential that he will have to become whatever he chooses or whatever his destiny is. I learned so much from my father and I can only hope that I will be able to teach Aaron as much as my dad taught me.
    I will turn 40 years old in October and still have much to do. I only hope that I can help Aaron understand the value of not leaving things undone at early ages when the opportunity is available. By this I mean the two biggest regrets that I have – not making better grades in school and not finishing Boy Scouts in earning my Eagle rank.
    I feel that I have lived up to my potential and still have some way to go to keep living. Again, great post, David!

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