For me, David’s birth was a cliché: miraculous and magical. Forgotten in an instant were the nine months of upchucking burning bile and tidbits of rice, curdled milk and water, which was all I could bear to intake and only for some modicum of nutrition for the seed I was growing. Not the normal, “it will only last the first trimester” bull shit, he spelled trouble from conception. Retching malaise, relinquished in the moment that wet, bloody flesh met the freezing sterility of hospital air. Miraculous. Magical. The bond was frightening. To love so deeply something, someone of whom you knew nothing. Except that his flesh was your flesh.
I thought he was perfect. I was so taken by his little features that I proudly sent a picture of him in his first hours to everyone I knew: David Arthur Eastes, 7 lbs. 14 oz. His flat, wrinkled head and eyes that seemed big for his face could be construed as ugly, but I saw beauty. Perfection.
“I can’t believe you sent that picture to everyone, he looks like an alien.”
My eyes widened with hurt. I started to refute him but could only blow out a jaw-dropping aah. Incredulous, I lifted “the alien” from the crib, coddling him and smelling his face, kissing his soft skin. I implied with my cooing that Daddy was mean and insensitive. “Hee’sh sho meeean. Hee’sh da ugly one, ishn’t heee?” I spoke directly to his eyes, his little furrowed brow already taking me in, assuring me of his love and my righteousness and the bond of blood that flows endlessly through generations.