A baby’s feet, like sea-shells pink,
Might tempt, should heaven see meet,
An angel’s lips to kiss, we think,
A baby’s feet.
—A. C. Swinburne, Etude Realiste
We had a child who was very fond of Baby’s feet.
Once Baby was all bathed and dressed for bed, a secret and almost sacred ritual would begin.
First he would shyly ease his way into the dim-lit nursery and stand a bit away from the rocker where Baby rested in my arms. Then he would ask if Baby had bathed and if Baby’s feet were all clean.
Once assured, he then would ask if he might kiss Baby’s feet.
It always awed me, the tenderness this one had for Baby and for Baby’s feet.
And those were the nights that I learned all the baby expert books in the world that predict jealousy in the displaced sibling meant nothing to me.
And I never consulted them again.