The observation of the innocence of a baby girl.
|Somehow on a Saturday in early October, the sun was able to penetrate the protective shield of my glasses. I squinted on instinct, peering at the field before me with emerald slits.
Paused next to a few white plastic tables with benches, I hesitated for just a minute, to absorb what was before me. The farm, a sea of green with tangerine polka dots laid before me, waiting to be grazed by people. To the far left was an entrance to the longest corn maze on Long Island. To the right stood a tiny brick-colored barn that sold concessions. Although these places interested me, I couldn’t seem to fixate my gaze on anything other than the pumpkin field.
I spotted a family perusing the pumpkin patch: a father, mother and baby girl. The father was holding a silver camera and seemed bent on capturing the day’s beauty on film. The family searched for a few moments before settling on the right prop for their picture. The mother gently hoisted her daughter up onto a perfectly round pumpkin as the father took a few steps back to prepare to set this milestone memory. The baby girl sat balancing on this pumpkin that looked to be bigger than her, with her golden curls dancing in the sun. She wasn’t facing me as I stood at a distance, watching this family like a silent film. I felt the innocence and wonder that this infant had while conquering a giant gourd; I wanted to live vicariously through this baby. Right before the father snapped this photograph, the baby turned her head to the left and I finally saw her face. It was almost obscene that watching this family could bring me so much happiness; I wanted to approach them, to tell the parents how beautiful their daughter is, to warn them to cherish this moment forever, to touch the heavenly cherublike cheeks of this bright young girl.
An elbow jabbed directly into my side, an abrupt end to my movie masterpiece. Immediately I felt self-conscious, overwhelmed by the perversion of being a voyeur. I wondered how many people were watching me study this family, how many people were whispering about me to their pals. Paranoia sank in instantly, my alarmed eyes darting from group to group, searching for the ones who were still staring at me. My insecurities climaxed when I remembered what I had just learned: the baby wouldn’t have even noticed.