Saturday, March 31, 2012

More About Boys

After the last exasperation-laden post about the two senior boys in my journalism class, I now have an opportunity to speak well of them. Our teacher, Mrs. Shewe, brought her month-old baby Hannah to class. I expected the two senior males to ignore her completely. Understand this: one of them is bound for the Marines, and the other is in the Navy and is considered suitable for the SEALs. They are both proud of their military connections and of their supreme manliness. That being said, I expected them to ignore the baby and concentrate on their manly humor and sarcasm. So did every single person in that room.

They surprised us all.

When Mrs. Schewe walked in pushing the stroller, they both gasped with much the same sound that I'd heard girls use over puppies. The Marine exclaimed, "You brought it to class?!" At that point the whole class gathered round to look at little Hannah, sleeping in her stroller as sweet as could be. After about five minutes of admiring her, most of us went back to our laptops to keep "working" on the newspaper. But I looked up from my computer a minute later to see those two along with a sophomore jock were still siting about three feet away from the stroller watching Hannah. "Babies scare me," the Marine said. "I'm always afraid that they'll fall or break."

They spent the whole class watching over Hannah. The conversation went from how they would wear the pink blankets and the rabbit hat if it meant they could lie around all day, to how beautiful all babies are. At one point, the Navy man said out of the blue, "I don't think it's possible for anyone to hurt a baby. I don't think even those demon-possessed serial killers could hurt a baby. I just don't see how you can." When the Marine growled that it happened all the time, the Navy man shook his head and said, "Then those people are the most evil people in the world." I thought for a minute he would cry. At the end of the class, after they had spent the entirety of the time watching over but not daring to touch Hannah, he said, "When I'm around babies I become a woman. I'm not at all ashamed of it."

I have never had more respect for them. Not because they can be soft and gentle, although that was part of it; rather because they have kind hearts and brave spirits. God bless them. I am proud to know them.

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