The former manager of the coffeehouse, Kim, is now employed part-time as our baker, to accommodate her new life as a mother. She comes into the coffeehouse three days a week with a trunk full of baked goods, toting little Trevor in a baby pack on her back.

“Tomorrow Trevor is eight moons old!” Kim says, glancing at the calendar.

“Was Valentine’s Day a full moon last February?” I ask, remembering Trevor’s birthday because it is the same as my cousin’s.

“Yup…Eight moons.” She turns to look at Trevor over her shoulder, then plays gently with his dangling feet. I watch them in their play as Kim’s speech melts into cuddles and oohs and ahhs. She is almost petting him with her voice and the baby responds intuitively.

It is a sweet language and I don’t want to interrupt, so I begin unpacking the treats. Cream cheese brownies. Butter pecan cookies. Aunt Sally’s apple cake. Chocolate mint wedges. Orange ginger cookies. The smells are overwhelming, each treat still warm and steaming from the oven.

“It was such a magical night,” Kim says, returning her attention to the baked goods, intending to sort and label them.

“When he was born, you mean? The full moon night?”

“Yes. And it was snowing, and he came at night. It was magical.” And with that she is off again, now cuddling Trevor, whom she has taken out of the baby pack.

Their affection seemed so private and encoded that for long seconds I didn’t know what to do with myself. Her love was so genuine and thorough, so unencumbered, that all other loves seemed to pale. When I did find myself looking directly at them, their ritual grew metaphorically to fill the room. All my coffeehouse tasks at hand were miniscule in comparison to the job of mothering. Indeed, the day’s endeavors paled in comparison to Kim’s nobility and Trevor’s infant dependency. So beautiful, I thought, it almost hurts to look at them.

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