premkudva sent me some extremely delightful pictures of his younger daughter as a baby. (Tyhanks Prem!)
It set me wondering..what is it about the sight of babies that is so deeply fulfilling and satisfying? It goes beyond the mere pleasure of looking at something pretty...I think it is the feeling of a new, young life just beginning, with so much promise...there is that feeling of utter innocence, and helplessness, that appeals....
There is also something about the proportions of the baby face or body, which appeals to some deep-rooted aesthetic sense in most people. Almost never would anyone categorize a baby photograph as "ugly".(Apart from the fact that the proud person showing the baby photograph would kill the person being shown the photograph if such a remark were made.)
I used to think, also, the instinct to protect a young one is hard-wired into us..until I realized that it cannot be so. Many animals specifically prey on the young ones of other species...hyenas, apparently, attack the Thomson's and Grant's gazelles as soon as the does give birth and the little one is most vulnerable, and some birds of prey will actually snatch young goat kids and sheep. We prize lamb, and lamb fur, and club baby seals to death in preference to adult ones. Calf leather is one of the finer leathers.
So that leaves me still wondering at the deep sense of happiness I feel when seeing a baby (or a picture of one)...even a baby donkey, or a baby camel, looks so appealing...I would love to hear others' ideas on why this should be so.
The real baby, in large doses, with the crying and the diapers and the illnesses and the fretfulness thrown in, might not appeal at all. But the sight of one, or a picture of one, is something I look at with delight every time. Why is this?