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Fragile

My stepsister had her baby last week. I, a sucker for anything helpless and vulnerable, was itching to meet Renee. She was premature, at 4 pounds and five weeks early. Luckily Beth got to take her home a week after giving birth.
Four days later we stop by her house. Beth, my stepsister, hands the baby to my mom, who immediatly starts cooing over the sleeping baby. Paul, her husband, is quite the proud papa. They sit on the floor, her head on his shoulder, as we talk about life, the baby sleeping peacefully in my arms. Such a tiny, small thing. Her eyes are the darkest brown, as is her dusting of hair, but no eyelashes or eyebrows have grown yet. My fingers brush against her soft cheek, and she stretches, giving me an adoring, heart-melting smile. She takes after Paul.
Finally, my father calls and tells my mom he's ready to pick us up, normally meaning he's ready to take five minutes of his life to put some pasta on the burner, and then disappear to leave us to our own devices. I didn't want to leave Renee. She was so cute, so tiny, so fragile. Her innocence was so obvious, so sweet, her beauty pure and quiet. As I slam the car door and slide next to my sister, I wave goodbye to Beth, Renee in her arms. On the drive to my dads, I couldn't help but think, we were all so innocent and helpless once in our lives. We all had someone giving up everything for us. My dad, who doesn't care about me, my brother, or my sister. My mom, who does all she can for my siblings and me. Me. Before my full head of blonde hair turned into soft ringlets, before my heart was broken again and again, before I realized truths about myself I never even thought possible. Twisting my iPod headphone around my finger, I stare out at the scenery zooming by. We're all fragile inside, a small quivering baby at our mother's mercy. But as we age and the world hardens us into the people we're destined to be, the small part of us that still lies in that crib is shoved further and further away. Maybe we should let go of our toughness, our brutal facades and see the people we really are beneath them, beneath our scars and our pain and our lives. Let's pretend to be that giggling baby again.





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JerseyLiar9 said...
Mar. 26, 2010 at 12:59 pm
This was beautifully written. Great job :)
 
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