Oh, baby! Just can’t get enough of you!
After all, how many cuddly, brand-new royal kids are out there? Just one: Prince George. And does the world love him or not?
People magazine expects to sell 1.4 million copies of its “Royal Baby Joy!” collector’s issue.
According to the New York Times, “Royal baby-watchers . . . helped lead to record traffic on celebrity Web sites.” Such as a 70 percent jump in unique visitors to People’s mobile site the day of his future majesty’s birth.
The Times went on: “Both Us Weekly and HollywoodLife.com experienced their best month for Web site traffic in July because of the royal birth . . . Two photo galleries of the baby and William and Kate with the baby attracted more viewers than the Oscars.”
Can you believe it? This sort of thing shouldn’t be happening in the age of population bombs, diminishing global resources, unrelenting career tracks—and, yes, Roe v. Wade. The impulse to celebrate birth contradicts so many of our present public orthodoxies that you get to wondering just how orthodox these orthodoxies actually are. Maybe less so than we suppose from prolonged exposure to “the news.”
The royal identity of Prince George Alexander Louis, and his status as grandson of the late Princess Diana, provides a fillip to the international excitement: not much doubt there. What else goes on, though? Let’s venture a guess.
At the most obvious level, cuteness goes on. Babies are just—you know—babies; copies, at a basic, even primitive level, of Us. All the same features, yet barely developed. A kind of thrill goes through those who behold each freshly born set of arms and legs and instincts. A new Me—or Him—or Her—is at hand. How will it all work out? With what joys and pleasures along the way, what sorrows and pains? Wondering about such things, and bracing for the answers, is part of the New Baby experience.
But that’s just the doorway to contemplation—however silent or voluble, deliberate or unconscious—of what really goes on in new birth. What really goes on is projection of the family, the breed, the race—meaning, without respect to particular and specific cultures—the human race. This is how it’s done, boys and girls, and always has been: new life brought forth miraculously (because it is a miracle, and nothing short of it) in order to carry humanity forward in time. This is according to a compelling if partially veiled design believed—known—to be divinely ordained.
Come to think of it, the Creator of absolutely everything chose to reveal Himself to the world in the form and flesh of . . . a baby. We see a little more clearly, maybe, that the instinct to love new life comes naturally, overriding all else.
H. R. H. George Alexander Louis is a timely gift to a world fixated on fears and fancies of the most ephemeral kind. His parents appear to know what they have got. Following a charity polo match in which he participated more sluggishly than usual, his princely father observed: “I was in baby mode out there, thinking about nappies. I really wasn’t in the zone.”
A good place for the modern world, wouldn’t you say?—“In baby mode.”