Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Baby's Unconditional Trust and Love

--by rettak, posted Aug 30, 2009

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.  We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled.

His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.  My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What do we do?' Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'  

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.' Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.

My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed.

As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'  Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'  I said nothing more than a muttered thanks.

With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'

I had just witnessed real love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was blind, holding a child who was not.

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Readers Comments

traceykenard wrote: That was so, so heart-warming. Thank you; great food for the soul.
christine wrote: It is so inspiring since all babies are angels.
Carlos wrote: God so works in not so mysterious ways ;)
sheila wrote: What a wonderful story,such a heartwarming and a reminder as well. We shld always bear in our mind that no matter who and what the person is,he/she has the right to be respected and be loved for some reason that in god's eyes we are treated and loved by him equally and fairly! Thankx for this awakening story to open the eyes and minds of the readers. Lots of thankx to u too erik. God bless us all!
KT wrote: This was so sweet. Thank you for sharing. My eyes certainly welled up!
chele68 wrote: This story made me cry. Thank you eric for being such a pure soul.
kay wrote: What a wonderful thing for a child to do. His mind is still pure and not corrupt. I am sure god made that happened to let us know we are equal irrespective of our social status. Please let learn from this stories and take the lessons in to act. God bless erick, god bless us all
Ashley Cooper wrote: Hello,
I have re-posted this amazing story over at my blog. Please let me know if you would prefer that i take it down, i was just so inspired and wanted to share it with my readers.

Thank you so much for sharing.
Archana wrote: A very heart touching encounter with love. As an old saying goes. Love is blind, ya, love doesn't need any qualifications to qualify the person whom you love. It is beyond reason and sense. The pure and true love of a child is the most prescious one in this world i feel.
diane wrote: A beautiful story!

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