When Joe was just two months old, I sat in one of our living room chairs and cradled him on my chest. I relished the sensation of his warm, fuzzy wobbling head brushing against my cheek. His infant squeaks and gurgles softly touched my ears. His breath warmed my neck as he grew tired and succumbed to a nap in my arms. Babies sleep so deeply and that sunny afternoon, mine slept soundly enough that the short, quick rhythm of his breath lulled me into a state of bliss. I slowly pulled him from my shoulder to lay him on my lap. It was there that Dave entered to find me sobbing over the tiny, perfect body that was my newborn son.
David’s face registered a look of concern, “What’s wrong?” Struggling against my tears, I attempted to speak but my words were choked back by a spasm of fresh sobbing. He was across the room in three quick strides, his eyes zeroing in on the baby sleeping on my legs. He knelt at the side of my chair and put his big hand on Joe’s tiny middle, as if to make sure that he was still breathing. David looked into my eyes and took my hand, “What’s the matter?”
I wiped the fat, wet tears that were rolling down my checks and took a deep breath. I needed that air to speak without the interruption of hysterics. “Someday, someone is going to punch him”, I said as I exhaled. Immediately, I was overtaken with a fresh set of tears and squeaky crying. The thought of some boy hurting my perfect, tiny child was unbearable. To imagine that one day, someone might harm him was too much. David wanted to smile; I could see it glinting in his eyes, struggling to spread to his mouth. Instead, he hugged me and stroked our baby’s round, bald head. Together we watched him sleep.