Monday, July 07, 2008

Taking Candy From a Baby

It's official. My baby daughter Miranda rolled from her tummy onto her back today, making her more mobile than me (minus any motorized vehicles of course). Sure I can still discuss politics, eat solid food, and control my bladder better than she can. But I can no longer use the phrase, "it's like taking candy from a baby" in a credible manner. I'm not kidding. We verified my theory scientifically with a Tootsie Roll. She's still got that sucker locked up tight in her hand. So, much like I noted my decline in comparison with Eva in a previous post (Two Brains Passing), Miranda has managed to surpass my physical skills in less than four months. Perhaps the sibling rivalry has begun.

1 comment:

Vanessa Sanyang said...

Scott,
When you watch your little ones growing so healthy and strong, as you feel weaker, it is natural I believe to feel sadness...even we readers of your blog face an overwhelming sadness of your situation. But if I may, I would like to share with you a poem, the most beautiful poem I have ever read. It was written by a Gambian poet, Dr. Lenrie Peters, who at the age of 76 is still, I believe, a practicing surgeon in Gambia. Many years ago in Africa, I asked him to visit my class and as we discussed his poetry, I grew to admire his work, especially this poem and his ability to understand the love between a father and his daughter, despite the fact that Dr. Peters has always been a bachelor. My students asked him if there had been an actual "Isatou" (pronounced I-sah-too) and he said that he had witnessed many deaths of young children, from malaria and cholera, and that sometimes he felt that their lives had not been appreciated, even by close family members. Those experiences inspired this poem. But in this poem, he said that there was a salvation...the father's tears, his "marble eyes", that reflected the love and loss he felt for his beloved Isatou.
Scott, we should feel sadness for children like Isatou who are not appreciated and loved. For your children, I try to feel happiness, for they are healthy and are surrounded by many loved ones, but especially by a father who looks carefully at every precious moment and can also smell the wonderful "perfume, mixed with morning dew". May that perfume always stay with you.

Isatou Died
by Dr. Lenrie Peters

Isatou died
When she was only five
And full of pride
Just before she knew
How small a loss
It brought to such a few.
Her mother wept
Half grateful
To be so early bereft
And did not see the smile
As tender as the root
Of the emerging plant
Which sealed her eyes.
The neighbors wailed
As they were paid to do
And thought how big a spread
Might be her wedding too.
The father looked at her
Through marble eyes and said;
"Who spilt the perfume
Mixed with morning dew."