We waltz around the room as Phil Collins plays, her tiny body nestled in the crook of my arm as I spin and sway, gently creaking the wooden floorboards. She smells like baby soap and snuggles, her breath blowing gently on the side of my neck. She’s too young to laugh, but something that sounds akin to a giggle escapes her lips as I bounce back and forth.
She’s not mine. She doesn’t belong to me. Someone else carried her for 8 months, birthed her unexpectedly, left her in the arms of someone who could be trusted, put herself willingly into a rehab center. But somehow, when I hold her and we dance as Phil Collins sings in his flawless tenor-that-is-practically-alto, it’s easy to forget that she’s not my own flesh and blood. The nights up at 1am shoving a bottle in her mouth, the mornings curled up with her on my bed, they make me wonder if the ties of love for a baby are not very dependent on whether or not they’re yours.
Maybe a baby does something magical for everyone, whether or not they share your blood type or your DNA. Maybe holding a baby simplifies life a little, reminds us of what’s actually important; we’re alive, we’re breathing and living and loving. And maybe it gives us all hope, hope that new life is pure and innocent and maybe we’re not always destined to mess it up.
One of these days we’ll get a phone call saying it’s time to give her back. And we’ll drive to a random gas station or church or hospital and put her in the arms of a stranger, someone who maybe doesn’t deserve to be trusted. And in that moment we won’t just be putting her in the arms of a stranger, we’ll be putting her in the arms of God. And Those arms will never fail her. They will keep her safe and hold her close when the wind howls. They are arms that will carry her as long as she lives, long after people have gotten tired and let her down.
But for now, the arms she rests in are mine. And we’ll dance in the sunshine as Phil croons you can’t hurry love, you just have to wait.
And that will be enough.