the mean gene

For the most part, since inception, Juniper has been more still and quiet than most babies. I believe that she has been peacefully listening and learning the entire time.

When she was in the womb, she was very still. Some nights, after Coley was placed in the hospital (pregnant with hypertension), the nurses would spend over an hour trying to find June on the ultrasound. The nurses would push the electronic paddles across Coley’s lubricated skin until I saw pain in her face as her spine buckled from multiple fetuses and placentas.

Maybe June was hiding from the whole experience. Maybe I was too.

We were both hesitant, inexperienced and afraid of the other side of it. I know that I was, at least.

As Dr. Johnson ripped the girls from the familiar blanket of comfort inside Coley‘s uterus and thrust them into this big, strange, terrifying world, Laurel cried loudly and Juniper remained relatively quiet (to the point in which it worried me).

Juniper would get her fill of crying in during her infancy, but at the time of her birth there were very few sounds coming from her mouth. I knew that it was supposed to be important for newborns to cry at birth. I watched her closely as a nurse walked over to me and informed me that June needed to be taken to the transition nursery.

As I got to know June after she was born, I realized that I already knew her, to some extent -  from observing her behavior in the womb. She was that same still, quiet, peaceful little creature.  I hope she never grows out of it, and I suspect she won’t.   It’s in her nature. It’s how she was built.  

I often joke with Coley that Juniper is missing the mean gene.  Everything inside of her is in it’s right place.  When she cries, it’s always for a reason. When she smiles, it shakes the world.  Everyone around her can feel it. The joy in her climbs into everyone’s bones.

All children have innocence in them. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult, in our modern society, for them to keep it.  The innocence in us is replaced but foolish pursuits for happiness. And as we try to find happiness, we actually let go of the happiness we were already born with - along with a lot of other good things. 

I have a feeling June won’t do that. She seems to know she was born with a happiness that noone can take away from her but her own self.

It’s apparent in her smile, her deep dimples and the wrinkles of her crinkled up nose.  No one taught her to smile that way. I know I didn’t, because I can’t - I’ve let the world get to me far too much for that. 

But Juniper...

Juniper will never judge others. She’ll never look down on others or criticize anyone. She’ll never hurt anything.  She won’t lie, cheat or steal. She won’t fuck anyone else over to get ahead. She won’t take advantage of another person. Her ego will never drive her to compete or be cruel. Sadly, others might do these things to her, if we aren’t very careful to protect her. 

 The world can just be so damn cruel.

Far too many of us have that mean gene June is missing.