Teaching Baby to Crawl
Jill Campbell found out she was pregnant on her mother's birthday. At dinner that night, she gave her mother a "Happy Birthday Grandma" card signed with a question mark. When she opened the card, Ms. Campbell's mother thought it was a mistake. When its meaning dawned on her, she started crying.
Jake Campbell celebrated his first birthday last week without his mother. He falls asleep to the Baby Mozart video she bought. The clippings from his first haircut are still saved in an envelope underneath his parents' bed.
Jill and her husband, Steven, juggled their schedules to raise Jake. Steven worked nights as a police officer in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, so Jill cut back her hours working as an administrative assistant at Baseline, in the trade center, so she could spend more time with Jake.
Marriage to a police officer has its emotional hazards. Before Steven went to work each night, she would put her right cheek next to his and tell him to be careful. "I promised that I would," he said.
Crawling was Ms. Campbell's latest mothering project. She helped Jake by supporting his stomach as he scurried along. She called these his "bunny foofoo" crawls. Real crawls were just around the corner. Indeed, Jake crawled by himself for the first time on Sept. 11.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 13, 2001.