Back to the States for a moment. My college roommate, Elliot, just sent me a photo, taken by his wonderful wife, Betsy, of him and me with their one-year-old son, Evan, and I thought I'd share it. It really was cool hanging out with the little one. It gave me a new outlook on babies. When I was a lot younger, in high school and college, I was around little kids quite a lot. I babysat. I worked with elementary school kids at summer camp and loved it enough to want to be a teacher. Somehow I ended up working with a lot older kids. For a while I really imagined myself being a father, but since I couldn't imagine myself being a husband, that dream pretty much got abandoned. None of my good friends have been the marry-young-and-start-having-kids type, so circumstance has kept me from being around many babies. The only time I really notice them is when they are throwing a tantrum on the street or in the store, kicking the back of my seat on the plane, or when a student brings their baby to school, when I have real qualms about providing even more positive attention that might make other girls think it's great to have a baby. So babies haven't really been part of my world in a long time.
It was a little weird suddenly realizing that I was supposed to really play with Evan, not just stand back and say "oh, he's so cute." But he was fun and agreeable and curious. It was a wonder to see him progress even in the few days I was there, seeing him trying to shuffle sideways to get to something nearby without having to turn and walk forward. I guess I fell for the little guy! I hope I can be around enough that he remembers me and looks forward to my North Carolina visits. And if some more babies pop into my life, that would be pretty cool too.