Monday, December 8, 2008

warming trend


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?

31 comments:

Patti said...

Not a lot, unfortunately.

I'm feeling rather bear-like. Grizzly bear-like, in fact.

I will feel warmth in my cockles once this child is born. Until then, I think I'll just go on being grumpy.

thordora said...

The thought of my children turning 18 so I can kick them out of the house?

Not much here either. I hate Xmas-all of it, and I have a tension headache that's making me ill.

But I can't wait to start working on your boy's blankie...that actually makes me smile when I think of it. :)

CLC said...

Can't say much is warming my heart. But I did get a chuckle of your coworker being hit over the head by his son. Maybe I should be careful with what I wish for?

Tash said...

My heart is about as cold as the wind-chill today. This time of year actually makes things a bit more frosty.

Magpie said...

I'd always thought the cockles was a sea-shell reference...never heard the kiln bit.

I can't say exactly, but for some reason I am in a wonderful mood today - even though it was 10 degrees when I left the house, and we were late, and it's grey out, and I had to go to work - somehow, it's okay. Maybe it's because my husband hung up some Christmas lights yesterday while I wasn't home.

Maggie said...

You know what warms my heart? The literal thrill I get every time I see that you have a new post...because I keep waiting for that grand announcement of the newest's arrival. I spent hours and hours at work trying to get various babies to make their entrance...but the one I am so very excited to see make a grand entrance is definitely yours.

Antigone said...

Oh Niobe, did you have a secret garden?

Eva said...

I'm so glad people in your office are celebrating this!

Oh, I'm happy enough, feeling enough on top of things. Could do without getting hit by my own child.

diana said...

One of the things, truly, is what (who) is coming into this world, on the other side of the ocean, in a few weeks, to someone I don't know, and yet, I know so very well...

Julia said...

The warming cockles of yours. :)

And the fact that my pediatrician comes to the house, so I don't have to shlep two sick kids into the office.

Furrow said...

I just found out that I'm going to the beach after Christmas. That, I hope, will warm my flesh. My cockles are maintaining a cozy 98.6degrees.

I'm glad you're getting some baby stuff lined up. I was imagining the little one swaddled in bath towels and snoozing in a dresser drawer.

elizabeth said...

Today one of my students during individual conference told me, "I'm not trying to get brownie points or anything, but I really really liked this class!" (Meanwhile I was trying not to be distracted by the fact that I'd just noticed that he grooms his eyebrows, and was wondering what he might look like if he let them grow back in all the way.)

Cockles. I love it. I'm going to go around all day thinking "cockles...cockles...cockles..." until the word no longer has any meaning whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Belgian chocolates are warming my cockles. I'm trying not to eat all of my son's Saint Nicolas chocolate figurine. He seems to be missing his head though......
allypally

Cara said...

My cockles are a bit confused these days, warm and fuzzy the next - then angry bitter and sad all in the next moment.

It's rollercoaster season!

Cara said...

My cockles are a bit confused these days, warm and fuzzy the next - then angry bitter and sad all in the next moment.

It's rollercoaster season!

Cara said...

My cockles are a bit confused these days, warm and fuzzy the next - then angry bitter and sad all in the next moment.

It's rollercoaster season!

Caro said...

Interesting.

k@lakly said...

Not having to run my A/C!!! And sleeping with socks on:0)

ewe are here said...

It's too cold here to have warm cockles.

Sigh.

Rachel said...

Nothing. I'm feeling like crap.

Cindy said...

My two dogs....a Bernese Mtn. Dog boy named Loki, and a Newfoundland boy named Mr. Blue, sleeping right now next to each other, snoring gently....and leaving me the heck alone for a while! Till I get up after typing!

Sarah said...

The virtual shower you all threw for Antigone, and her blog response to it warmed them right up!
The sparkle of the tree lights on the ornament that I picked out when I was a little girl gets them nice and toasty!
Listening to my husband and daughter during bedtime pretty much melts them.

Kymberli said...

How chicken soup, Ritz crackers, and Gatorade served be me (not Frank) apparently tastes better and makes the sickies go away faster.

Amanda said...

(I'm secretly pregnant again, and that -- for some reason -- has made the cockles of my heart nice and toasty.)

B said...

My little autie kids managed to more or less sit and do their song for the Christmas concert, and Rock Sta's nanna cried when he managed to put the star at the top of the Christmas tree when I asked him to. Which doesn't sound like much, but this kid is as autistic as they come.

Rebecca @ Clumsy Kisses said...

That picture is t.o.t.a.l.l.y. freaking me out. *Shudders*

niobe said...

Rebecca: Sorry.

I guess you better not stop by my house because that grouping of objects (the shells, coral and candle -- though not always lit) is sitting RIGHT ON THE COFFEE TABLE!!!!!!

painted maypole said...

you accepting the love and goodwishes of your co-workers... that is warming the cockles of my heart

Motel Manager said...

I almost peed in my pants when I read about your co-worker's son. Okay, I did pee a little, because I am incontinent from pregnancy. That, in its way, warms the cockles of my heart.

beagle said...

Hot tea, and the (not so) secret thrill of finally sending out one of those annoyingly smug holiday cards complete with glowing child's face. My child. At last.

Christine said...

not much.