Something about looking into his angelic face made me flash back over my whole life: I wanted to do better, to make something of myself. But I also finally accepted who I was and where I had come from. I owe it all to him.
Now: I always wake first and look over at his sleeping form in the shadows of the crib that adjoins my bed. He is perfection. I want this moment never to end, but my heart beats faster with the thought that his eyes will open soon and he’ll greet me with that sleepy morning smile.
My son wakes and bumbles over to me; his autumn gold curls tickle my chin as tiny fingers dance up and down my arm.
His face looks up at me, flushed from sleep, and the color of his skin is mesmerizing—not peaches and cream, no, nothing so common. More like porcelain and pink roses. Big round cheeks and cupid’s bow lips. A Victorian doll of a child, straight out of a thousand classical paintings. Until you reach the eyes: mysterious Eastern eyes, dark brown like oil-slicked sand. How did the eyes of a Persian prince wind up in the face of a European farm child?
Who are you, little alien that’s invaded our lives? Where did you come from?
“Good morning, Little Lovemonkey,” I whisper. “Your Mama loves you. Do you love your Mama?”
“Dikka Dikka!” my son replies. I think it means he loves me too. Or that he wants to watch cartoons.
We laze in bed a while longer as he giggles and cuddles, flops over onto a grumbling Daddy, rolls back to Mama’s breast. His fingers find mine. So strange, those miniaturized versions of my own hands, long and tapered at the tips. He grasps my thumb and pulls my hand over to cradle his face. Hazy morning light catches the pale white lacework of scars on my forearm and wrist. I’m going to have to explain that to him someday.
I wonder what kind of lie I’ll tell.