Guys Holding Babies


“He’s just like his dad,” she said. “He loves to hold babies.”


She was describing my grandson, but a memory of my own dad flashed into my mind. He would stand at the back of the chapel, a baby cradled in his arm as he shook hands with folks leaving.  Even though he had carried around seven babies of his own, if there was a baby in the room, he delighted in holding it. 

I’m thankful to have grown up in a culture, in a community, in a family that valued, cherished and loved on babies.  I’m thankful now to be part of a community of friends who teach both their sons and daughters to hold their little siblings, to comfort them when they are distressed, to give of themselves to these little ones.  In fact, around our parts it is such a common blessing that it almost goes without notice.  

But I look. And I see. 

I see the Matthews and the Lukes and the Adams and the Dannys and the Steves and the Gabriels and the Michaels and the Nathans and the Jesses and the Micahs – all those older brothers who comfortably and naturally tote the little tots who are their sisters and brothers.

Because, you see, I was once the little baby who was held and cherished and protected.  I had my own Dave and Johnny and Jimmy and Danny who found joy in carrying me from the car to the house, who picked me up when I was too tired to trudge forward, whose arms went prickly dead while cradling my sleeping form through a church service. 

We often think of the nurturing of children as a strictly female occupation.  But there is a particular security in being noticed and graciously treated by a father, a grandpa, an uncle, a big brother. 

If I were evaluating a potential husband I would watch closely when he was around children.  Certainly there are different levels of ease depending on how much experience and time he has been around little ones.  But there is a general disposition which will come out.  And a friendly exchange, a playful banter between a three year old and that potential husband would melt my heart faster than a dozen roses or a box of chocolates any day of the year.

My beloved holding our second son after he cut the cord, etc.

It is such a joy to watch my son as a daddy; he’s one of the best!

My dad holding his firstborn.   JWH, October 3, 1922 – February 14, 1987

16 thoughts on “Guys Holding Babies

  1.  What a sweet post!
    And I notice that your father died on Valentine’s Day 😦
    You are definitely *on the money* about watching men around children….it’s a good measure of character.  Your album above is noteworthy.
    Blessings from GA,Dana

  2. Theres nothing like a dad holding a baby, especially when it’s their own!
    My hair was long.  I like to let it grow and then cut it and give it to Locks of Love.  It’s a fun cycle for me because about every 2 years I get a hcange of pace for awhile and then I let it go again.  Thanks for the compliment!
    Theres a picture of our family and me with long hair in a later post if you want to take a look.

  3. Oh, my goodness, what a WONDERFUL picture of your dad!  You must have quite a few of him, it seems.  That’s so great.  Is that you he’s holding?  He looks so much different from the later years when I saw him.  I agree, there is nothing that brings tears to the eyes faster than seeing the tender look in a man’s eyes when he holds his baby.

  4. This post makes me laugh.  When Bud and I were dating, his former roommate and wife had their first baby.  He called to tell me about the visit.  “I shook the baby!” he reported proudly. 
    With a panicked giggle, I said, “You did what?” 
    “You know, I held it and sat in the rocking chair and shook it.” 
    “Ahhh, you mean you *rocked* the baby, don’t you?”
    “Yes, that’s it, I rocked the baby.”
    Now this man had never been around a baby before.  But, he turned out to be a natural.  Bud has been the best dad I could have wanted for my children.  I can’t wait to watch him shake this new baby!

  5. Oh, Mel, that picture is my dad holding Dorothy, the oldest. I cropped it from their first Christmas card circa 1946. Do you see Collin in him?You’re right, Dana, he died twenty years ago from pancreatic cancer.Amy, you make such a good point in a funny way. It doesn’t require coming from a large family to be a good dad. You’ll have to post a picture of Bud holding the new one when he/she arrives.

  6. So sweet! I fell in love with my husband in a family camp childcare room — he loved on the babies and the 8 y.o. girls loved on him with his dreamy blue eyes (-: He’s certainly been a superb daddy to his five. Praise God.Happy Valentine’s Day, and I hope you are feeling better,Diane

  7. My darling husband has always been the most gentle baby-holder.My Dad only had one arm, so we missed being held by him.  He gave great one-armed hugs though!  What a sweet and sensitive entry. Thank you.

  8. Carol, your post brought back poignant memories of my dear husband holding our first-born. She would be fussy in the late afternoons when I would be trying to cook dinner and he would hold her and walk around the house so I could cook in peace.

  9. I wanted to thank you for your book list.  I joined our librarys cabin fever book reading club thing and was at a loss as to what to read.  I asked the librarian and she got me started by pointing me towards Wilkie Collins.  A good book, a bit predictable at times but still good.  Then I remembered your list and went back to find it.  I now feel prepared.  If you have any other books that you’ve already read and want to recommend I’m all ears.  Thank you!Kcaarin

  10. Kcaarin, I’m delighted in your interest. See today’s post on Framley Parsonage. This quote from it captures my feeling at finding a great book: “The enjoyment of one’s own happiness at such windfalls depends so much on the free and freely expressed enjoyment of others!”

  11. Wow, Carol. I wish I’d known you were posting the Thankful on Thursdays on your blog. The photos are such an added plus – especially since I know most of those ‘guys’. I’ve been meaning to take a look at your blog for – oh goodness knows how long – and I just finally got around to it today. (One certainly can’t complain I am moving to quickly, now can they?)
    Your reading list – goodness girl! I can’t imagine. I guess I can, but those were the days. Now it takes me days to finish what used to be a ‘quick-read’ novel. Oh well. I must remind myself times and seasons, times and seasons. One of my current reads – current being right now and the next month maybe – is one I’d recommend. In fact, you’ll probably see quotes from it at some point on “Thankful”. It’s called, “The Marketting of Evil” by David Kupelian. Have you heard of it?
    If nothing else, it makes me INCREDIBLY thankful we have chosen to homeschool / private school our children. And, it makes me a bit paranoid about rejoining the ‘real’ world as long as our youngest is so young. Scary the evil influences which have become so ingrained in our culture. One encouraging thought –  Mr. Kupelian’s cure: homeschooling / Christian families who stand against the culture as a sub-culture of their own.
    Our Judeo-Christian culture has crumbled (is crumbling), in part, because of the destructive influences of sub-cultures (i.e. the homosexual culture, the women’s liberation culture, etc). So, Lord willing, we can reclaim what we have lost by a strong sub-culture. If only more Christians were like-minded!
    Must go, dear sister. Just wanted to drop you a note.

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