I don’t think I was ready. It had only been two hours, isn’t there a longer waiting period? I mean, she was brand new. Brand New.
We waited until the others had gone. We were crashing the family’s party, welcome guests, but guests nonetheless. The room resembled a waiting room, but the air felt like a party. Someone had brought cookies. I ate two.
In the nervous anticipation, Jack talked about politics and religion. He couldn’t be asked to hide his excitement, and he likes talking to me about taboo subjects. It was appropriate, after all, she needs a better world like we do. We were welcoming her and we might as well brainstorm a few ideas to make this place a little better.
Jake’s bearded face, tired, gave instructions. He’s good at that. You might as well do something you’re good at when it’s two in the morning. We followed his orders, leaving out the “yes sir.”
When it was our turn, we made our way down the corridors, turning right and then left. Nurses joked at the station, I thought of things to say, things I never said. Jake’s beard revealed a sly grin as he opened the door to reveal his two girls. One was neatly wrapped in a blanket, a new human of minute proportions. The other was ragged from giving life, in great spirits and suddenly more experienced on this earth than anyone else in the room. Her disheveled bed-clothes were rumpled and covering the war zone, but the perfect little girl in her arms was peaceful, happy, alive.
When Violet was first brought to her mother, she was crying. As Kathleen reached out to take her she said “Violet” in a way only a mother can, Violet stopped crying immediately and accepted her mother’s arms without fuss. Kathleen is a mother.
Jake watched the procedure and greeted his daughter with a beard. Good man. Violet later let Jake clean up her dirty diapers. Jake is a father.
I had to pry Violet from Nikki’s arms; I wanted my chance. I confirmed that she was perfect as I looked into her eyes and watched her gnaw on her hands. The contrast between the starkly sanitized room full of instruments and the breathing bundle in my arm was striking. Do we need all of these tools to bring life from life? Violet’s knit hat fell off and esoteric questions gave way to the practical. The hat was replaced, her thick, dark hair hidden from view. The white flakes stood out against her brown skin, her dark eyes seemingly endless.
I’m hoping she remembers me, I was wearing my maroon corduroy pants. I whispered my name in her ear. I think my chances are good. Welcome, Violet Ruth, welcome.
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