One advantage to believing the worst of everyone is that, occasionally, you're bound to be pleasantly surprised. Though I strongly discouraged my boss from telling people about the baby, I know the way the office grapevine works and ever since I got back from London there's been a small parade of people stopping by to offer me congratulations.
I was drafting a post about how all this warmed the cockles of my little black heart when it occurred to me that I wasn't exactly sure what, in context, anyway, cockles were supposed to be. Googling the phrase, I discovered one of those minor, yet intriguing, etymological controveries..
Apparently, one competing theory is the use of idiom derives from the Latin term for the heart's chambers, cochleae cordis, representing the perception that the chambers of the heart are shaped vaguely like certain kinds of seashells. See, e.g., the French word for shell, coquille or the English word cockle, like the ones Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary had lined up in her garden.
Alternatively (or maybe additionally), which makes a lot more sense from the point of view of the warming aspect, a cockle is apparently the word for the chamber of a kiln.
One of my coworkers, whose second son was born about six months after I lost the twins, offered me a car seat, a swing, and a bunch of baby clothes. "We're definitely done having kids," he said. And, just when I was feeling all warm and fuzzy, he told me told me how, the other night at storytime, his older son, annoyed with the slow pace of the narrative, started screaming, grabbed the book out of his father's hands and repeatedly tried to hit him over the head with it.
What's warming the cockles of your heart these days?