It was just a screw – a threaded bolt lying on the tiled floor in the elevator lobby on the second floor of a medical office building. It was just a tiny twisted piece of metal. I didn’t notice it at all but it reflected a spark of sunlight that somehow caught my daughter’s eye and she immediately stopped.
“Oh my,” she said, as she bent over and picked it up. “Look at that! Some baby could get a hold of that!” Her voice had an unusual pitch to it when she spoke. Her voice sounded odd to me, almost like it wasn’t my daughter speaking. Her voice was different. She was different.
Not different in that she would not have noticed a screw on the ground before, no, the difference was one of awareness, or perspective.
When she was younger she certainly may have noticed the screw and even picked it up but she would have done so in order to pluck it into a pocket because it would be the perfect item she needed to finish a multi-media craft project.
But not today – today she was thinking about the babies of the world.
There was also a time in the past that she may have noticed the screw and automatically tapped the screw with a side kick, one perfected by hours of playing soccer, giving the screw just enough momentum to send it swirling across the shiny floor until it rested against the wall. Out of the way perhaps, but not out of reach of the babies of the world.
And most recently, there could have been a time when she would have noticed the screw with annoyance while saying, “What the heck? Who left this here!? If I would have stepped on that, it might have ruined my brand new high heel boots?”
Not today though. Today was different. Today she was concerned about the babies of the world.
And within the next 30 hours, the same hand that was holding that screw is now softly caressing the head of her newborn baby girl.
What was that strange sound in her voice two days ago?It was the voice of my daughter becoming a mother, someone who will do her best to keep the loose screws in the world away from her child. Well except for her Grand-Deb of course.