59. Dumbo

59. Dumbo

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Happily Ever After


I was the nurse caring for the couple’s newborn first child after his cesarean birth. Since the mother was asleep under general anesthesia, the pediatrician and I took our tiny charge directly to the newborn nursery, where we introduced the minutes-old baby to his daddy. While cuddling his son for the first time, he immediately noticed the baby’s ears conspicuously standing out from his head. He expressed his concern that some kids might taunt his child, calling him names like “Dumbo” after the fictional elephant with unusually large ears. The pediatrician examined the baby and reassured the new dad that his son was healthy — the ears presented only a minor cosmetic problem, which could be easily corrected during early childhood.

The father was finally optimistic about his child, but was still worried about his wife’s reaction to those large protruding ears.

“She doesn’t take things as easily as I do,” he worried.

By this time, the new mother was settled in the recovery room and ready to meet her new baby. I went along with the dad to lend some support in case this inexperienced mother became upset about her baby’s large ears. The infant was swaddled in a receiving blanket with the head covered for the short trip through the chilly air-conditioned corridor. I placed the tiny bundle in his mother’s arms and eased the blanket back so that she could gaze upon her child for the first time.

She took one look at her baby’s face and looked to her husband and gasped, “Oh, Honey! Look! He has your ears!”


~Laura Vickery Hart
Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul

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