Story type: Essay
Of all events here on earth, the greatest is the birth of a baby.
Great battles are fought, won and lost. Nations and religions rise and fall. Great cities flourish to-day, and to-morrow the sand lies heavy over them. And of all these events the eternal Niagara of new babies is the first and essential foundation.
He knows little of real life, its greatest happiness, deepest devotion, intensest suffering, who has never witnessed the arrival of a new human being in this life of progress and struggle.
There lies the new baby at last, its black face gradually turning pink, its first gasping breaths changing the color of its blood, its tiny fists opening and closing–reaching out for nourishment already, its face tying itself into the first philosophical, cosmos-interrogating knot. Its feet turn inward and its legs are crooked. Its head is so shapeless as to discourage any one but a mother; it has three years of gurgling, ten years of childhood, ten years of foolishness, ten years of vanity–and possibly a few years of real usefulness ahead of it.
Some one must be patient, hopeful, interested, proud, never discouraged, always devoted, through all these years.
That “some one,” the mother, lies there weak and white on the bed.
Her forehead and all her body are wet with agony–but she thinks no longer of that.
She has heard her baby’s first cry, and whether it be her first or her tenth, the feeling is the same. Her feeble, outstretched arms and her hollow, loving eyes are turned toward the helpless little creature.
Those arms and that love will never desert it as long as the mother shall live.
The mother’s weak hand supports the heavy, dull baby head and guides it to its rest on her breast.
And that hand which supports the head of the new-born baby, the mother’s hand, supports the civilization of the world.
Was this helpful?
0 / 0