My three sons are nearly all teenagers, and some of the details of their earliest years have begun to blur. Which boy was it who said that funny thing about the dog? Who lost a tooth while crossing the street? But I remember the minutes immediately after each child's birth as sharply as if the boys had entered the world this morning. Given my new baby to hold, I hugged him to my chest, caressed his back and kissed the top of his tiny head. And then we stayed there like that for quite awhile, mother and child.