An Old Childhood Memory

I remember when I was still in grade school, not sure if it was lower or middle school, however…probably early middle. I remember it was lunchtime and I was walking back from getting lunch when I saw this woman holding what appeared to be a doll wrapped in some blankets. It was really small, so I couldn’t believe it was anything else. I was super shy at the time, but I just had to know why this adult was holding a doll like that with no other purpose but to hold it. I decided to approach her and asked nicely, “Can I see it?” She looked at me surprised, but I could see how proud she was to have such a young spectator of her prize in a blanket. She replied, “of course!” and leaned over exposing this little wrapped package. There it was, a new, tiny, pink little baby. It was so small. Barely made any noise, but turned red and squirmed a little bit. Some little baby grunts came out of it’s mouth, but I was just so shocked to see such a tiny baby. Little did the woman know that I had originally thought she was a fraud carrying around this little plastic doll as if it were real only to find out it was her newborn she had taken out for a little fresh air.

I looked back at her after staring at her little baby. I could have sworn she had tears in her eyes. All I could say was, “thank you.” She smiled back and straightened up. As I continued on to school, she walked the other way silently. It was like one of those moments that you just can’t say anything. I was still surprised at my obvious misconception. I then realized that was the first time I actually saw a real baby!  That must have made her day. The look on that woman’s face stayed with me forever. That pride, that moment when she got to show off her precioius package to a strange, curious, little girl.

I never actually told my mother what happened. I told her I saw a baby, but I just didn’t get in to the details of how it took place. I felt it was a special moment that I wanted to keep to myself.

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