Those beautiful words sung by Roberta Flack come back to haunt: “The first time ever I saw your face I thought the sun rose in your eyes….” There were three special times in my life when that sun rose and I was blessed, although magical hindsight blots out the exhaustion I felt at those times.
“Mrs. Adams, are you awake? I’ve brought you your son.” I open my eyes and see that I am in a hospital room. I lay there under a crisp white sheet with my sweaty head cradled on a hard pillow, struggling to rise above the haze of a deep, confusing, drug-infused sleep. Through the window I see a parking lot. I’m on the ground floor somewhere. The room is rather bare, with no personality, but I see a friendly blue sky through the windows and follow sunbeams to the floor, where dust motes are dancing. An empty bed stands beside me. Where is everyone?
“Mrs. Adams?” she repeats.
I groggily peer down along my body to the tiny twin peaks of toes. So nice to be able to see that far again. So nice to be thin. Ah, I remember now. My son has been born.
“Wake up, Mrs. Adams, here’s your boy.”
She leans over and places my beloved in my arms. So this is what he looks like — my masterpiece, my heart’s delight, who heard me singing, and kicked in response. That little stinker, and I knew how to communicate.
The tiny face before me is bathed in sunshine, scrunched up as though he has tasted a lemon. Yes, sweetheart, this foreign new world takes a bit getting used to. No sense rushing into this.
Those last few months seemed endless, but now I have my prize, the golden ring. The open blanket reveals two scrawny legs separated by a miniature diaper, with an angry umbilical cord perched above. He’s been through a war; we both have. I smell him, kiss him, welcome him and hope he had a good journey. We have done well, he and I — and by the way, he’s gorgeous.
What shall we call you, little one? How about Glenn, or Ray, or Arthur? Yes, that will do just fine.