Veterans young and old walk the street, saluting the children who wave their tiny flags. I wonder if one day my son will walk among the men and women who served our country, those who shrug off the “hero” label, appointing it instead to the soldiers they served alongside. When my son is the age of a man, I wonder if the world will need heroes.
Walking about the crowds at the Veterans Day Parade
, my wife and I can count on being stopped by a number of new parents. It’s like looking in a mirror. New parents are drawn to each other, and we’re asked about the wiggling bundle we keep passing back and forth — which looks like trying to pass an armful of water without spilling a drop. We play show-and-tell with our babies, sharing stories of development.
“He’s becoming the perfect little boy,” I smile. “It’s with an advanced grip that he pulls the dog’s tail.” But as we separate we are all thinking the same thing: Our baby
is much cuter than that one.
Look back over your shoulder and you’ll see the other parents doing the same thing.
When it comes to their own, parents can be generous when describing babies. Every parent is positive, without a doubt, that they possess the cutest reproduction. When they are just minutes old, babies are wrinkled and pink and mostly hairless. Lumpy. But we all grow into our features eventually. Most of us, anyway. (Doc says I’m done growing.)
Don’t get me wrong; all babies are precious, pure in sweetness and innocence, I’m only going skin-deep here.
And I’m not talking about your baby. It’s the other ones I’m talking about.
“Isn’t he just the cutest little thing?” their parents say, holding out a rat-faced baby too close, with a head like a bullet. You have to force a convincing smile and nod.
I realize there’s a formula for making cute babies; the parents must be specimens themselves. But there is probably more to it than that. Some kind of code that can be cracked with careful pregnancy nutrition and musical stimulation. I haven’t researched it much because I’m not that interested.
My wife and I are the proud parents of the cutest little baby you ever did see.
Pico spent his childhood years in the Springs. Now, as a father, he's seeing the city (and life) in a different light. Follow him on twitter at @DavidXPico.