I held a baby today. A brand new one. Her toes were so perfectly miniature; I kept having to suppress the urge to nibble on them like the baby-corn cobs you see in Chinese food. And her skin! Oh how I love those first months when their downy-peach-fuzz hasn’t worn off. I held little Ava tickling up and down - playing love notes on her legs.
We all grow up. Our complexions change. I’m at the stage where my freckles are no longer ogled by anyone but the dermatologist who removes one every now and then for testing. I’m kept busy at family get-togethers trimming Dad’s wild eyebrows and “earbrows” and plucking chin hairs from the women-folk with eyes too weak to tweeze. As my sister points out my hairy-Hobbit toes, I enlighten her about the 1 inch swath of unshaven thigh on the back of her left leg. Like a community of chimpanzees, we’re becoming increasingly hairy and require group-groomings in order to look good.
But the other day I found it. An island of youth. I traced its perimeter around the outer edge of my ear and into the soft fleshy part of each earlobe - my last remnant of baby skin. Forty-five-year-old earlobes that for some reason escaped the ravages of sun, time and hormones. A bit of baby-down I can keep with me always, and the best part is I don’t have to waken every few hours to feed it or worry about sending it to college.