ten

June 27, 2019

On the eve of my first born’s tenth birthday, I lay horizontal in a toothpaste blue paper nightie, waiting for my gynecologist to do a routine pap test. Everything about the room –– the magazines beside the sink, the yellowed poster behind the door, the dozens and dozens of babies on the walls –– is exactly as it was when I first entered the room a decade ago. I remember how I studied the babies faces, trying to imagine what my baby would look like. There were the twins, the preemie and that little boy who’s baby brother popped out of a magician’s hat. One day, my baby will be on this wall. One day, my baby will wear an enormous tutu and dance around the kitchen to Blondie. And she’ll pick flowers from our garden and put them in a vase. And she’ll fall off a bicycle and scratch her face in five places. And she’ll ask hard questions, and have the answers within her. And take on challenging tasks and have the resourcefulness and resolve to see them through. One day, my baby will light up the stage with her poise and smile. One day, my baby girl will be ten, and she’ll be beautiful and capable and moody. She’ll shout at me, and reach for me in equal measure. “Can you believe it’s been five years since my last visit?” I said, as the doctor turned to leave. “In a flash.” And it was then that I saw them. All three of my babies, right there on the wall, like they’d been there from the start.

 

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