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baby hand 2

When held snuggly in their mommy or daddy’s arms, they catch your gaze.

They bury their heads in the parents’ shoulders.

They glance back up and throw you a smile, even flutter some super-long eyelashes at you.

Oh, they pull you in mercilessly.

And when that baby, say your newest nephew, snug in the arms of your brother, finally reaches that plump little hand towards you…

You have to.

You grab that pudgy, wet palm, and kiss it, and say “I love you!”


Start the clock ticking backwards.

You have about 24-36 hours.  You may make it a bit longer, but eat sparingly and set down that wine glass.  Babies and stomach flus go together more than babies and puppies.  It’s true.

Our family, quite numerous as I have mentioned in the past, went through a few baby booms, and with each BOOM, there was a period of 2-3 years of stomach bugs.  Family gathering for the holidays?  25 total?  20 soldiers down at least, and the remaining 5 standing are left to question each and every movement in the stomach area.  “Hey, Anthony and Christine are here!”  Run to greet the family, only to have the 5 year old dash in the door and lose lunch.  Start that clock ticking backwards.  I think we all got it that year.

Things got so bad that my husband started refusing to go to my parents’ house for holidays altogether.  “Let’s visit when it is just us!”

Most of the nieces and nephews in our family are now high school, college-aged, or even post-college.  We have been removed from babies for years.  Until now.  And the new baby has us completely enamored.  He giggles, we giggle.  He smiles, we smile.  He cries, we try to make him laugh.  The world does revolve around him as it well should!

But then he reaches that plump little hand towards you….

You have to do it.

Do it.

Grab it.

Kiss it.

“I love you!”

baby hand

About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!

One comment

  1. When I first started teaching, I was so sick. All those adorable little first graders wanting to hug you and pass along their colds and flus and general illness. I finally started to build up a tolerance, but still . . .

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