carrying

I’m carrying someone’s baby around, and she’s heavy and awkward and keeps slipping. I keep hefting her up and jostling her, trying to get a better grip. I’m trying to juggle too many things I’m carrying, so I set the baby down. I’m focused on something I’ve placed in one of my bags– I realize it’s not mine and move it to give it back. I look around and can’t find the baby– where did I put her? I’m panicking– I’ve lost the baby! I’m looking and looking, and suddenly there she is up on a precarious ledge by two sinks that are quickly filling with water. I snatch her up and shut off the water. I’m holding her tight and rocking her, but I notice that the look in her eyes is terrified. I’m telling her I’m so so sorry, and she gives me this speaking look, like, yeah, right, okay, but you know what just almost happened. I’ve just had a very close call, and it’s up to me to see that it never happens again.

I’m carrying the baby through a crowd of people, and someone says something about how the baby is mine– I say, I wish. There’s a moment of confusion, and I say, I wish she were mine. I’ve tossed off the comment but realize the truth of it, and a weight seems to lift off, and I hold her tighter.

There’s a children’s show in progress, and I take the baby and grab a seat, trying to turn her in my arms so she can see the stage. But she’s squirming and unwieldy, and I realize the whole thing is lost on her, she’s too young anyway. So I get up to leave, but the floor is slippery and on a slope. I try to go one way and slip and almost fall and turn around and try the other way, which also slopes. I’m having a hard time since my feet can’t get purchase and I can’t use my hands. There are a couple of people up over the slippery part, and one reaches out to help– I hand her the baby and am able to clamber up the rest of the way.

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