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Baby Barnacle Love

Yesterday Nika was watching the old BBC movie about animals, the one intriguingly titled, "Animals are Beautiful People," and I noticed that every segment had something to do with symbiotic relationships. My favorite part was the one with the bumbling young honey badger and the guide bird that takes it under its wing (ahem) and shows it how to obtain the good stuff. The honey... Once the badger conquered the hive, he made sure to save part of the honeycomb for the bird. There were many other examples like this; different animals coming together and working as a team to obtain something good for both.
Funny how the title compares animals to people, but we humans in our society have tried to get rid of this characteristic. Everything about our educational system, about our so called life expectations are geared towards making one completely independent, relying on no one. This philosophy is carried to such an extreme that a person is judged by how potentially self-sufficient he is. How many babies are aborted daily because they don't fit this category or display the right attributes of a "model citizen?"
When Leo was born, the medical staff tactfully admitted that they hadn't a lot of experience with such babies because of the fairly new requirement for early ultrasounds. How many other little Leos never made it past 20 weeks? This thought breaks my heart.

Every special little kiddo born into this world finds a special guide bird that helps and completes the parts which might be missing. Every little baby finds the special someone that holds them in their heart, and often in their arms. Why can't we see that this is normal: that we can trust in the love in people's hearts, which is the only thing that can make us truly "beautiful?" Animals get it, why can't we?

Leo has been extremely clingy lately, a by-product of cutting four teeth at once, and I caught myself getting frustrated by his loud demands for my presence at all times.  Especially now when we are in the midst of a move to a new house, his claim on my arms makes packing challenging, if not downright impossible. But right when I'm on the edge of complete meltdown, I look into his pleading little face, and realize that instead of feeling irritated, I should feel blessed that he not only needs me, but wants my presence so much. There is, in this wide and lonely world, a little person who thrives because of me, who loves me unconditionally, who gives me back tenfold what I give him. Symbiosis? No, it's more then that, it's unity that comes without strings.

Chances are, the honey bird would survive fine without the hard work of managing the bumbling and naive badger, but something makes her patient, makes her take the time to teach him, coax him into the right direction without loosing her temper or hope. And BBC was right, it is beautiful.

 Video disclaimer: the background noise is a roomful of people blowing raspberries to encourage Leo's own performance...just in case you were wondering...:-) just minutes prior Leo was really doing a brilliant job of it which is why we tried to catch it on film. Anyway you get to see a glimpse of his standing and walking in action..


  1. Oh, he is delectable. And I always enjoy your thoughts on caring for little ones.


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