It is nearly Christmas. A girl drives home from the coast. The afternoon sun sears through her window. It scorches the seats. She hasn’t eaten since morning. Her eyes ache as she tries to keep them open. The car swerves. The western sun comes through the window, and she slumps against the steering wheel as the car hits a tree.

She was somebody’s baby.

A boy is backed into the corner of the playground – playground. Four boys creep closer. Taunting. Poking. Jeering. He cowers and pees his pants.

He is somebody’s baby.

A girl lies in her mother’s lap. Her stomach no longer yearns for more; she knows there is none. Her mouth is crisp dry. Her mother weeps as she holds her closer.

She is somebody’s baby.

It is nearly Christmas. Twenty children sit down in chairs. The alphabet is tacked to the board in front of the classroom. Books and coloured posters line the walls. They didn’t know the sound of gun-fire before today – how it ruptures everything. And nothing else can be heard.

They were somebody’s babies.

The boy, laden with weapons, turns the gun towards himself.

He was also somebody’s baby.

A two-month baby lies on her change mat, staring up at her mother – her eyes bright, reflecting glimmers of light from the window. Her face breaks into a smile, a smile that begins in her eyes and lands in her mother’s heart.

She is somebody’s baby.

She is my baby.

I stare back into those bright eyes and thank every possible planet, star…atom in the universe for this precious gift that lies before me. My other baby, now tall enough to hug my legs, leans against me, and I breathe in her warmth.

I savour every moment. And thank every star. Again and again and again.

I light a candle tonight for my darling friend Margot who died in a car accident nine years ago and for those beautiful souls who died in the massacre last Friday. This candle burns also for all the babies in the world, who suffer, have suffered and to all the parents of these beautiful children. They are all somebody’s baby.

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