“Are you a witch, Granny?” Sissie asked me when she got home from school and she said her friends were asking her about her Granny cause what people asked me to do with the babies, but them kind of rumors and callin' people names, well I don’t think they’re good for little ones to be a-thinkin’ nor their moms or daddies neither.
|Midwife Salome - wikimedia commons|
So I sits that child on this knee and I tell her how it happens and how I learned it from a midwife in Cloutierville many years ago. “You know those people bringing babies here, they believe that soft spot on the baby’s head is helped with what I do. And Granny knows it helps cause I see it over and over and how it works with babies.
I explains to Sissie what I do, and it’s somethin’ I think people worry about when they don’t understand what’s going on, and so they make up stories, just like they do with politics and everything else these days and been doing it ever since Granny can remember.
“Now this is what Granny does, that people think is witch.” I go to the kitchen and gets the things so Sissie can see how Granny helps those babies and I shows them to her and I says, “ I take a piece of paper and a little flour from my kitchen here.. That piece of paper is the kind that folks can write on—it can’t be nothin’ else. Then I put the egg in and make a paste, then put it on the baby’s head, like this.” And I showed Sissie Bell, and her eyes got really wide.
“But what do you do that for?” Sissie asked. “I tell her it’s kinda magic-like, but it helps the baby’s soft spot be safe and all, you know, after Granny looks to see about it first by putting a finger in the baby’s mouth and feel the button to see if it’s up or down, then I knows what I gotta do.”
Sissie she was just shakin’ her head, “How can I explain this to my friends?” she asked. “They’ll think that’s like a witch.”
“That’s what makes your Granny worry, cause when people don’t understand something and don’t even ask about it or try to figure out, then they just start callin' people names and things can get bad and people hurt and worry little children about it, like you said today, and the stories just get bigger.”
Sissie’s face it gets all pinched up and her eyes squeezed shut, and I knows what she’s been thinkin’ how hard it will be to tell those other children something they don’t understand and that their mommies and daddies don’t know about either. That’s how big lies are started, and it’s how folks they are getting hurt. And some folks won't believe the truth, no matter what folks say.
Then I take my Sissie’s little hand and lean down so she feels Granny’s love right there and kiss her on her curls and say, “Just remember this: babies is more important than what foolish people think.”