once one of our regulars asked me to hold her month-old baby and when i took him i said, “i can’t remember the last time i held a living thing so small”, and my coworkers laughed and said (half-jokingly so as not to embarrass me but i knew they were really scolding me), “ellen—word choice!” i guess it came out sounding weirder than i’d meant it and maybe i shouldnt have said “living thing” but what i meant was that he felt so soft and fragile and barely had any hair at all and the skin over his skull was so thin you could see his tender veins. what i meant was that he’d only been born a month after i started working there and that if i was his mother then maybe i’d always be trying to get someone else to hold him as well. till this day they still don’t let me live it down but i didn’t mean it the way it came out at all

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