Saturday, December 10, 2011

Soft Spot Heart Beat

Baby's have soft spots in their skulls.  Those of you who have younger siblings, or children yourself may recall that first moment of passing your fingers over a baby's head only to encounter a -sink hole.  This may have caused you to wig out a little bit, or perhaps throw up in your mouth a little bit.  And rightfully so.

It is weird, sick and intriguing all at once. 

The soft spots, properly called "fontanels" exist because the bones in the skull are not yet fused together, which allows flexibility during the birthing process.  This fusion happens between 12-18 months. 

Here's a somewhat lame video explaining this phenomenon:

What is really remarkable to me, is not that finding the soft spot is freaking, or even that it exists in the first place.  Instead, it is the fact that you can view the baby's pulse by looking at his/her head.  Watch closely:

I gawked for a while at my baby's soft spot the other day, watching it beat, and I was gently reminded through the observation that we really are mind/heart creatures.  The fullest expression of the human being is a life lived within this unity:  reason and affection. 

Now, the soft-spot analogy limps quite a bit, but its implications are worth some pondering. 

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