Wednesday, April 13, 2005


The littlest of boys

Through a friend, I've come to know about the birth of the littlest of boys. He was born three months early, at just over two pounds, and now, at three weeks of age, he appears to be thriving. Thanks to the Internet, even though we're some distance away from this littlest of boys and his parents, we have seen photos, and as one of his aunts, my friend has been privy to some family stories, a few of which she has shared. Still, it is difficult to comprehend the size of a two-pound newborn. He is so tiny. In one photo, the littlest of boys presses the tiniest of feet against his father's thumb: The foot barely reaches from the tip of the thumb to the knuckle. He is so tiny.

The littlest of boys has touched me so much. I know that at least part of the connection, if I may be allowed to call it that, I feel to him comes from the frightening premature circumstances of my own, much earlier, birth. I have heard the stories from my mom - going to the hospital way too early; dad being sent off to work because the medical staff assured them that she was not actually going into labor; the confusion in labor and delivery and the brusque announcement that the other baby was dead, when no one had known that she was carrying twins; her visits during my month-long hospital stay; holding my head in her palm, my feet barely touched her arm at the crook where her elbow bends; my dad being afraid to hold me for the first several weeks of my life...

For comparison's sake, as far as nine months' gestation is concerned, I was born only a few weeks after, and a couple pounds heavier than, the littlest of boys. Until meeting the littlest of boys, I've (thankfully) never really had a way to comprehend how small I was as a newborn.

I intend to report in coming months that this littlest of boys continues to thrive and develop normally. We preemies need to root for each other. Life is precious and fragile.

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