Canaan the Cutest
We have to apologize. We’re sorry for asking you, our dear readers, to take on the unimaginably difficult task of looking through 20 photos of 417-land’s wiggliest, smiliest, happiest babies and choosing one to be named 417 Magazine’s Cutest Baby presented by CoxHealth. When we first reached out to parents to submit photos of their bundles of joy, our inboxes were flooded with almost 100 submissions. Each nominator paid a $5 fee to benefit their choice of Care to Learn, Children’s Miracle Network, Doula Foundation, Isabel’s House or Pregnancy Care Center. Of the submissions, we selected 20 finalists to appear online. Readers then voted for the cutest of the bunch to be featured in the magazine and receive a prize pack valued at more than $1,000.
That winner was 8-month-old Canaan Reed, who won over readers with a photo of his sleepy yawn in front of a black-and-white chevron background under a dangly heart banner. Canaan came into our studio for an adorable springtime photo shoot. He was dressed to the nines in a floral bow tie and black leather loafers. His mother, Leann Reed, says they love to go shopping together, and she frequently dresses him in a button-down shirt and bow tie to match his dad, Bradley Reed, who is a bit of a bow tie aficionado. Leann says for spring she’s been putting Canaan in hats and fedoras. “He’s a good sport about it,” she says. “But if he had to choose, he’d be running around in a diaper.” (In fact, when Canaan stays with Nanny, grandma Joleen Reed, he gets to break all the rules and run around clothes-free.)
At home, Canaan has a mind of his own. He loves to play with the family’s two dogs, Kimber and Lola, and he wiggles along to his favorite Southern gospel and bluegrass music, songs he often hears thanks to Bradley’s work as the assistant pastor at Faith Pentecostal Church. Leann says Canaan does everything on his own terms. “When he’s ready, he’s ready,” she says.