A girl named Melody
After four boys, I was tired, fed-up, sick of maleness. It screamed at me from every corner of our home; toy trucks, smelly boots, and discarded car projects. All of me ached for a baby with long dark hair, curly eyelashes, and pink gowns.
She was a surprise.
The scan prepared our minds for another boy. We carefully chose his name: Nathan. As usual, I bought blue clothes and didn’t bother to read any baby books. Remember, I had done it four times.
“The scan was wrong,” the midwife told me, as the new baby wailed in the background. At first, I thought something was wrong. Until she put the little baby in my arms, “it’s a girl.”
My eyes filled up with tears as she cried her little feminine cry. Sort of like why did you disturb my beauty sleep? I counted her toes carefully, checked her genitals when we were alone (to be sure), and finally gave in to the tears.
The opening of the door startled me. My mum’s face was dressed in a huge smile. For the past eleven years, she’d nurtured the dreams of a little girl with pigtails helping her with the dinner, or breakfast…or anything.
I shushed her before she could make a sound. “She’s sleeping.”
Gazing in wonder at the baby, my mother asked me a question to which I didn’t have an answer. “What would you name her?”
“Nathan.” The name was out of my mouth before I could think of it.
We dissolved into laughter and woke the baby. Her cry of anger sounded like music to my ears.
“Melody.” I said.
“We’ll call her Melody. William won’t have a problem with that.”
And so Melody came into our lives.
From the very first day, she was different. I wanted to attribute it to her being female but the truth is that she was different. After crying vigorously, only music could calm her down. I must have learned a hundred new songs in the first month of her life. When her brothers wanted to play rough, she would recoil but was all smiles when they approached her with their mouth organs (which they were quite proficient at).
“You know, Melody is not a bad name at all.” William observed one night after he had spent thirty minutes crooning to her.
I smiled. “If I knew you had such a good voice, I wouldn’t have given you the tough time
I did before saying yes.”
“It’s your turn. Come hold her and sing all the songs you know.”
I smiled and burrowed further underneath the blanket.
William closed his eyes, opened them, then stared straight at me. It was time for philosophy, I could tell. I wasn’t disappointed.
“God has a purpose for her, you know?”
“A purpose for you naming her Melody.”
He smiled, “she smells so sweet.”
The sweetness he held in his arms cried out in protest.
“You’d better think of another song.” I admonished.
She laughed through her toddler years, grumbled through her adolescent years, sped through her teenage, and settled into her comfortable twenties.
Today, Melody runs an orphanage and sings to keep the troublesome children calm. Her husband says that when she sings, he catches a glimpse of heaven.
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