But When Will She Dance?

My friend just had a baby. When I spotted them across the courtyard at church, I did what I tend to do when I see babies I know: I swooped in and asked if I could hold her. My friend was nice and indulged me in my desire for baby hugs.


We were at the church’s annual post-VBS celebration, so lots of noisy, wet, hot, and happy children were darting around, including mine.

As I was holding Baby N, Asher wandered up, his arm freshly painted by some teens. I wondered what he’d think of the tiny bundle, so I knelt down.

Somewhat to my surprise, Asher’s face lit up. “That’s so cute!” he exclaimed. A standard, non-clueless adult would have responded similarly, but less joyfully. He smiled down at her. Then, to my surprise, he rapidly shaped her hair into a mohawk. “She has a mohawk!” he proclaimed. He laughed, and then left to go play.

At this point, Noah rushed up, his face sporting a bird on it.

Put a Bird on It
Put a Bird on It

He spied the baby in my arms, and I wondered if he would feel jealous. However, possibly because he has seen me holding other various babies who then went away, he didn’t seem to mind. He was fascinated.

My two year old smiled down at Baby N and began his rapid assessment. He stroked her hair, so recently fashioned into a mohawk. “Her has such long hair,” he remarked, making me wonder how he knew that babies often don’t.

He tried to grab her hands, which I deflected, hoping my friend wouldn’t worry about germs. “He has little baby legs!” he cried out, touching her bare skin reverently. I looked at her skinny, crooked little newborn legs.

Then he stroked her little blue- and red-striped dress. “He has a dress,” he said lovingly, smoothing its ruffles. Looking at the dress, he murmured, “When will she dance?”

My friends and I couldn’t help but laugh, looking at the tiny, sleeping person who won’t even hold her head up for another few weeks. I wasn’t sure if Noah was expecting a dance now, since she was clearly dressed for it, or just soon.

Then, as quickly as he came, he hurried off, forgetting the baby.


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