My Cousin Jesse

This is my cousin Jesse.

I babysat this little six-month-old pumpkin a few times over the past month, and I’ve enjoyed every delicious second, marveling over those chubby legs and cheeks and the newness of everything to that pair of big, innocent eyes.

I was giving Jesse his bottle of formula the other day and just hanging out on the couch wondering how on earth my own children had grown up so fast when my thoughts turned to my novel, Baby Grand, which features an infant, a little girl, who at the time of my book is about three or four months older than Jesse. I thought about how I had tried to draw upon my parenting experiences in creating that little character, her mannerisms, her personality, and the joy I had in doing so when it hit me — not once during the course of the book did anyone give that kid a bottle!

How could this be, I wondered, when I had so painstakingly detailed (or so I thought) what it was like to care for a 10-month-old child over a period of several days. There were the requisite Cheerios, the finely diced, peeled grapes, the many, many diaper changes. But, apparently, in all the murder and mayhem (Baby Grand is a thriller, after all), I inadvertently nearly starved one of my main characters by not giving her any formula.

D’oh!

So as I finally (finally!) finish this last edit of Baby Grand, I will be sure to incorporate a few formula feedings, or at least the mention of them, here and there. Thank you, sweet, sweet Baby Jesse (and, of course, Mama Irene) for the chance to have these tiny spurts of babyhood once again, which have not only reminded me of the gloriousness of life, but also of the ravenousness of infants.

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