Greetings Gentle Reader,

For some reason I am taken back to the birth of my daughter, Heather's, first son. Connor is now 10-years-old and a strapping young man. But I remember when he was born. This was what I wrote eleven years ago.

A tiny, exciting, sweet-smelling creature has come into our lives, a brand-new, precious little grandson; to say we are ecstatic is to understate the case. One of our daughters, Heather, has had her first child; a large, very healthy boy. This little one tried to be born the traditional way, but a childhood injury his mother had sustained during a tubing party left an unexpected barrier, and he was forced to be born by caesarean section.

As I held this tiny creature, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, I remembered the joy I had felt when I held my own little miracles. I examined this little boy's fingers and toes in great detail, just as I had done with his adorable, and much adored, mother. I couldn't resist kissing them and
brushing them across my face. They felt as though they were of softest velvet, but smelled the way only a little baby can smell. As I changed his diaper, ever alert to the threat of an unexpected geyser, a silly little game that we play at our house came into my mind.

Often, after my husband shaves, he comes to me and invites me to rub his chin, asking, "How's that?" Dutifully, I run my hand over his newly shaven face and reply, "Soft as a baby's bottom; just smells better." I couldn't help smiling as I thought of that ritual, especially since I was far from home and wishing he could be with me, to share the wonder of this new life.

This little baby's bottom probably doesn't smell a bit better than that of any other baby, but I didn't care. And when I let my guard down for no more than a matter of a few seconds, and he gave me a free shower, it didn't bother me anymore than it had when my own newborn sons volunteered the same service. To tell the truth; it had always been a source of great hilarity with me, when a new little boy, with unerring aim, provided me with a free shower. I have always tried with great diligence to keep them from hitting me right in the face with that little stream, though I have failed many times over the years.

As I held this little creature and attended to his needs, I was so overwhelmed with love for him, that I just sat there and cried. At the same time, I felt a great sadness for every woman and every man who has been deprived of this experience, whether that deprivation has been voluntary or involuntary.

We have loved our wonderful son-in-law from the very beginning; not only is he a decent, honorable man, but he is so good to our beloved daughter. Now a new dimension has been added, and I can say with great satisfaction, that he is also going to be a good father. He was a football player, and though I don't know what position he played, he is a huge man. To watch this human powerhouse hold such a tiny creature with so much confidence and tenderness makes me think that he must have been quite a ball handler. It is a comfort to me to know that this is the man who will stand between the harshness of the world and our sweet daughter and grandchildren.

He works at a job that he hates, because he still has two classes to take, in order to get a degree, and he knows that he needs to continue to tolerate these terrible working conditions, in order to get the wage he receives and to be free during the late afternoons and evenings, to take classes. That level of self-sacrifice and responsibility is a great virtue.

As I contemplate the world into which this little one has been born, I feel an even greater need to do everything in my power to stem the tide of viciousness, of depravity, and of irresponsibility that is poised to wash over his unsuspecting little head. When he goes to school, he will enter an environment in which he will be taught that newborn babies, such as he, are a threat to the survival of the world. He will be taught, even before he is taught to read, that babies are not to be thought of as future scientists, surgeons, great physicists, and noble humanitarians, such as Mother Teresa, but as liabilities to be destroyed at all costs. And by the time he is old enough to father a child of his own, he may have been so thoroughly persuaded by those teachings, that he, too, will readily kill his own newborn son, as many young parents are doing today.

He will have to deal with predators who want to destroy him by selling him drugs, that they may profit from his destruction. He may have to get his schooling in a facility that is an armed camp. When he goes into his school's library, he will be welcomed into a world in which appealing garbage is available on every side, because that is already the case. And he will be required to read much of that garbage, in order to get scholastic credit. Voting for courageous school board members who despise such trash is the only answer to this deplorable form of pollution.

If one looked only on the negative side of this young man's future, it would be easy to accept the urgings of those who are determined to keep such as he from ever seeing the light of day. But this young man can be a power for good in this degenerate old world, as was Mother Teresa. If his parents train him well, he will willingly pay whatever price is required to stand between this world and its determined destroyers.

My husband has now passed from this world. My grandchildren now number in the double digits. America is in dangerous waters and life is very precarious. But my grandchildren give me great hope as they grow into strong, noble sons and daughters of god. It is all that a grandmother could hope for.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Until next time,

Muriel Sluyter

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