Saturday, May 25, 2013

Proxy baby

When Kirby was a baby, about ten months old, I was at the library with him. A woman whispered questions to me, in the shelves of books (the stacks). Her daughter had married a foreigner and moved to Denmark. They had a baby she hadn't yet met. She was asking me how old Kirby was and whether he was average size and what size clothes I thought she might send. She was sad and said by the time she saw her grandson, he would be walking and she was missing all the baby days. We were nice with one another, and said bye, and I walked away. But after maybe five or six steps, I turned around and hurried back to find her. I said "Do you want to hold him?"

She got tears in her eyes and nodded and she hugged Kirby with her eyes closed and rocked him a little bit, kind of got the feel of him, and the smell of his head, which wouldn't have been as good as her own grandson's, but it was better than nothing. When she handed him back she seemed much calmer and better. It was therapeutic for her. And I've always been glad that I thought of it before it was too late.
Keith probably took this photo.

For the record, this happened in the stacks by the north wall of what was then called the Wyoming Branch library, behind Hoffmantown Center, in Albuquerque. It was surrounded by rose gardens. Now it has been renamed the Tony Hillerman Library, but in 1987, it wasn't called that.


  1. Sandra, that story brought tears to my eyes. Gonna go sniff little heads.

  2. This is nice, very nice. This is a very sweet story. And a very sweet picture.

    And the link to Kirby's page took me to the same date, 11 years before:


    Lord Magnus Gunwaldtsson, born while his parents were king and queen of the Outlands; squired to Earl Cathyn Fitzgerald; award of arms received from TRM Bela and Elizabeth, May 25, 2002''

    Thanks for sharing this Sandra !
    Have a good trip in Europe !


    1. That's a very sweet coincidence. Thanks for pointing it out, Edith.

      This week, Kirby is visiting Albuquerque, while I'm in England. It all swirls around. Thanks to Facebook, we can keep up with each other very well. (E-mail, skype and blogs help too!)

  3. That was a wonderfully kind thing you did for that new grandmother, Sandra. I'm crying, too. Mine is all grown up. Wonder where there is a baby to hold today?

  4. What a wonderful thing to remember...that you did something that was so meaningful for someone, and obviously meant a lot to you as well. Thanks for sharing! :)


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