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Write about spending time with a baby or child under the age of two.  The challenge:  if you’re a parent, do not talk about your own child.


It was touch and go for months.  She was in the NICU for the first six weeks of her life.

Little Emma was born almost six weeks premature, and weighed less than a can of refried beans.  I used that to explain just how tiny our new cousin was to Ben.

The first time that I visited Emma in the hospital, Lisa had already been discharged, but was spending almost every waking moment with her baby.

We couldn’t hold her for long stretches of time.  Emma was on oxygen and in an incubator.  It seemed impossible that a little life, so small, so fragile, could possibly survive.

Other parents hovered over other glass bubbles, reaching hands gently stroking impossibly delicate bodies.

When I sat in my car later, in the hospital parking garage, I cried.  It was such a shock to see a baby struggling so hard, and to see my cousins so sick with worry.

Some babies died.  Some were just too small or had too many problems to overcome.

Emma continued to grow.

Mistakes were made.  Nurses were questioned and for several days, life’s thread seemed ready to snap.

Emma hung on, and continued to grow.

On Mother’s Day, Lisa…and all of the mothers in our family, got a miraculous gift.  Emma got to go home.  The photo above is of Emma, still on oxygen and me.

We celebrated all of our children that day, each of us holding this new life and rejoicing.


I’m participating in this year’s The Scintilla Project.  It’s a two-week opportunity to share stories and build our community.  Come join us!

The Scintilla Project