Lately many of my friends have been coming down with Baby Fever. It's just the age all of us are entering, I guess, and maybe the fact that some of our friends and siblings are starting to have their own babies. (A history of exposure to babies, it seems, is the greatest risk factor for the Fever.)
I've mostly been spared from the mindless desire for, as my program director would say, a germ bag. Not that I don't love spending time with my little niece, or appreciate her extreme cuteness or think that she's a genius. It's just that spending time with her doesn't make me want to run home and have my own (or wherever that would be done...).
So today I was a little taken aback when I was hit hard with Baby Love. The offending little one was a two-week-old preemie and maybe the smallest human being I've ever seen. He was so tiny as to be a little alien-like, hands trembling as he raised his skinny arms. But he was "fiesty" -- even his NICU nurses had called him that -- sucking vigorously from his bottle and later tilting his shoulders as if trying to roll over and crawl away.
His young parents were so excited and nervous that they couldn't stop talking; I'm pretty sure I don't want to ever be in a pediatrician's shoes. But their baby had such an earnestness, in an extremely tiny little form, that it made me want to take care of him.
I don't know if it'll develop into a full-blown bout of baby fever, but I'm pretty sure it was love.