Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Fine Little Baby

A few weeks ago, I took Jude to one of my favorite Jackson hotspots that I don't get to visit as often as I would like: Lemuria. Lemuria ranks as one of my favorite independent book stores ever (second only to Square Books in Oxford--because Oxford is home and "one never graduates from Ole Miss" don't you know?). I have every intention of building up Jude's personal library with the classics. Our recent visit to Lemuria proved no exception as Jude came away with a T.S. Eliot book of cat poetry. (That's a whole other thread of topic but cats and books really do go well together, don't you think?) While in the checkout line, a new Eudora Welty biography caught my eye. (Aside: I'm at work on my lunch hour right now, and I don't have the title of the book on hand at the moment.) Anyway, I grabbed a copy, purchased it, and began reading as soon as I got home. I love Eudora Welty. Most times,it takes me a few readings before I begin to understand, but I love how she constructs a story. I particularly love the "June Recital" section of The Golden Apples--very coming of age, which is a favorite theme of mine to explore in literature. Needless to say, when I saw this new biography, I couldn't resist. A long time ago, I had read Eudora's One Writer's Beginnings,but one part of it didn't stand out to me until I read this biography that cited it. Eudora had learned that her mother and father had lost a child, a fifteen month old, before she was born. Eudora being a little girl when she found out, her mother simply told her, "He was a fine little baby." Those words--"fine little baby." Those words practically jumped off the page right into me. They were the perfect combination of words to accurately describe Jude. A fine little baby. Those words encompass absolutely everything about him: his smile, his voice, his way of concentrating very deeply on some random object, and so much more. When reading this part of the biography, I also couldn't help but feel for Eudora's mother as she had to find some way to explain to her young daughter that another baby just as loved as Eudora and her younger brothers had once existed. One day I plan to explain to Jude that before him, Jeffrey and I excitedly anticipated the arrival of another baby only to be met with disappointment a few days later. However, my miscarriage is a part of our family's history, a history with which Jude should one day become familiar. I know I won't be able to tell him without coming to pieces, but for Jude to know that about us, means he will know that we had always wanted him. We waited very patiently, and even not so patiently at times, for his existence to simply happen. And look what we got--a fine little baby.


Carol said...

Beautiful and poignant.

Leslie said...

That's beautiful!