Because Everyone Loves Babies

Because Everyone Loves Babies

This isn’t new. 
“Back in my day,” my mom says, “we had TB and polio.”
Back then life didn’t stop. 
You took precautions and took your chances. 
On the farm you understood that death 
And suffering are a part of life.
You didn’t hide from it. 
Not when there was work to be done.
But today things are different
Maybe it’s the attitude
Maybe today we think we’re above death-by-virus. 
We think science should conquer everything, and we should all live forever
Or at least those close to us, anyway. 
But death and suffering are part of life now
Same as back on the farm.
After all, people have to die to make room in the world for babies 
And everyone loves babies, right?
Except . . . the majority of the people dying 
And suffering are the marginalized. 
The poor, the elderly, the sick, the disabled. 
Supplies and proper care are prioritized based on who would “benefit” more from them 
Or who lives in the nicer neighborhood 
And as for the working poor and the nurses
Well, you can’t hide from it. 
Not when there’s work to be done. 
So, maybe this is nature culling weak from the herd, right?
There’s an awful lot of people in the world and since everyone loves babies, well . . .
Something’s gotta give, right?

It’s like Evolution,
Survival of the fittest, and all that?
Isn’t that the Theory?
But nature does not marginalize or prioritize. 
Nature doesn’t dictate class
Or perpetuate income gaps.
It’s not nature choosing who’s essential and who’s expendable, is it?
It’s us.
And that’s right,
This isn’t new
Because it’s always been us. 
Watching it happen and being okay with it.
Focusing on those closest to us
Saying, “life goes on,”
Because there’s always babies and we love babies.
But we forget that there are marginalized babies, too.
Babies born in poverty, 
Born disabled, 
Born with tinted skin
And those marginalized babies grow into marginalized adults
That we easily forget.
We feel like we can tell them to take precautions
And take their chances
Even if their chances aren’t very good.
Because life doesn’t stop. 
Not when there's work to be done.
Not when the money’s gotta flow.
Life doesn’t stop
Except when it does
But no one points that part out.


“Because Everyone Loves Babies” is an examination of the uglier parts of the pandemic life how we justify being okay with them.

About the Artist

Darrell Parry,  Northampton County
Published:  September 6, 2020