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Saturday, January 28, 2006

In Praise of Crying Babies

Crying babies are annoying, aren’t they? How many times have you been to a restaurant with the anticipation of enjoying a quiet evening away from the house when, just as you start slicing into that slab of savory steak sitting so perfectly on your plate, your serenity is molested by a blood curling shriek comparable to that of panther. Startled, you look around only to find sitting not more than two tables away is a family with a baby - a baby so pitifully discontent that it yells, wails, and cries, ruining, in effect, your dining experience.

How about movie theaters? Isn’t that even worse? A baby wailing away while you’re trying desperately to figure out who killed the man who was having an affair with the drug lord’s daughter? Or how about church services? “Shut up little tyke, can’t you see I’m trying to focus on God?” Or grocery stores? It takes a lot of concentration to find an apple without any bruises. No matter where we go, we just can’t seem to escape the mouths of babes. They’re everywhere.

But they may not be as everywhere as they once were. People aren’t having as many of them. And people are aborting a lot of them.

It’s not the babies who have changed. Babies have been crying long before slabs of beef were ever served on a plate. Babies cry for a myriad of reasons. They could be hungry. Or uncomfortable. Or in pain. Or cold. Or hot. Or lonely. Or tired. It doesn’t make it right. But that’s what babies do. They complain. It’s really no different than you or me. We’re just more experienced in making our complaints a little less bothersome that the average infant.

There are some families who are still having more than 1.5 children. Some even have (gasp) more than five. There are still many couples who are actually letting their children be born. But there are also many who aren’t. Usually those who aren’t don’t look too kindly upon those who are. Maybe it’s just that babies cry to loud. I don’t know. But common sense tells us that after awhile, those who are still having children will outnumber those who aren’t. Those who don’t want children in the world are killing themselves off. They’re a dying breed.

So next time your pleasures and comforts are interrupted by a fussing babe, remember that it’s because of that fussing babe that life goes on. See the joy in the larger picture. The cry of an infant is the forging of a legacy for those who see it. For those who don’t, it’s the death of them.


At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Sharon said...

Hmm, let's see if I follow this - Children are good, therefore we should tolerate it whenever irresponsible parents bring them to places like movie theaters and don't have the decency to at least step out for a moment to calm them...

By that logic, sex too is good, therefore you shouldn't mind if we show couples having sex on all your favorite T.V. shows, right? After all, we can't have more children without more sex!
Also, you make it sound as if there is some huge crisis in the United States and that we simply don't have enough children. The last U.S. Census would beg to differ...

But, since you are so very sure we need more, and you are commited to promoting the sanctity of potential human life, then I think must really take measures to make sure every egg in a woman's ovary becomes a child. After all, god wouldn't have given us all those eggs if he didn't want them all to become children, right?

(Insert chorus of "every sperm is sacred here)

Seriously now... Just because children are generally a good thing, doesn't mean they are appropriate to be everywhere doing whatever they please. There certainly needs to be some tolerance and accomodation of parents with children, but that doesn't mean that you should necessarily bring your sextuplets to the movie theater (that's what DVD's and babysitters are for...)


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