Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)
TITLE: Baby Fine
By Sharon Laughter
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“What am I supposed to DO?” I croaked. The wait for her expected change in plans had all been in vain. “I was thinking, dear. You could still use some help. I’ll go ahead and change the airline reservations and stay a few more days.”
Instead, she slung her purse across to the passenger side and slid gracefully into position. She angled her head outside the window as the engine roared to life. Mom proffered a proper and knowing smile.
“You’ll do fine.”
Dismissed! Had my own mother just dismissed me like that? Fear of the dark and unknown danger loomed ahead, threatening to swallow me whole.
“But!” I yelped. I glanced down staring at the bundle in the crook of my arm. A tiny head, no bigger than a donut, poked out of a powder blue blanket. The donut was frosted by tiny thatches of shiny blonde hair . Two wide blueberry eyes stared up. His expression seemed to inquire in a cynical fashion, “Any ideas of how to get us out of this mess now?”
In another blink, Mom’s airport rental whipped out of the parking space speeding off. Soon she would be flying friendly skies toward her destination several states away. She was painfully unconcerned with the trauma caused by her departure. In my head I heard a reply of her words, “You’ll do fine.”
True, she had arrived promptly upon our release from the hospital. Mom’s professional nursing skills had been handy in light of my C-Section. While recuperating, I was entertained by the spring in her step and watching her bustle about. Diapers were whipped on and off in one deft and fluid motion. Burp cloths swung side to side over her shoulders. When it came to warming and filling bottles, she was like a one-person assembly line. Large piles of laundry were moved about as if by backhoe. Never for once did I consider the gravy train would eventually arrive at the depot.
Suddenly a movement in my arms interrupted my thoughts. I looked down as a small fist broke through the blanket and pumped the air. Startled, I jumped. “Aaaag!”.
Two blueberry eyes open wider in conjuction with a round pink mouth.
“Oooh!” I cried. The little dough’s face turned red and scrunched to the beat of adrenaline chugging through my veins. No longer could the truth be avoided. The weight of the world fell on my shoulders as I attempted to settle him there.
I’m sooo sorry!” I apologized, patting his back. “I didn’t mean to scare you. You did, in fact scare me first.” Taking the offensive in parenting was probably wise right off the bat. Little dough’s head waggled back and forth in disagreement and pounded those angry fists against my shoulder.
Mom’s words coursed through my mind once again. “You’ll do fine.”
I swallowed and shifted the bundle in order to peer into his face. “Wanna bite?” He stopped and stared, considering my offer.
“Just you wait,” I coaxed, peering into blueberry puddles. “I can’t wait ‘till you’re old enough to hit playland at McDonald’s.” Little Dough arched an eyebrow, his expression as if to say, “Go on, I’m listening.”
“Then of course, later on there’s those afternoon excursions to Pizza Pirate. The spaghetti and other Italian food I handle myself of course, home made. Before you know it, a few roast-beef sandwiches and we graduate to the buffet at “Brake N’ Steak.” Promises of a bright future and full stomach might do the trick.
The ploy worked. Not a surprise, since both sides of the family ate and cooked with a zeal unequaled by any political cause. Encouraged, I edged toward the kitchen, bouncing lightly on the balls of my feet.
“You’ll do fine.” I coached myself silently.
Much too soon, the blueberry eyes turned a light sky-blue. Little Dough’s frosting grew thick and framed a face full of matching hair. He outgrew his powder blue blanket by six feet. His booming voice now expounds on topics ranging from politics to the Holy Nature of God.
He now awaits the arrival of his own little slice of life. He practices secretly for the even in his kitchen, slinging dishtowels back and forth across his broad shoulders, then making them into triangles around large plastic bottles of ketchup.
I just can’t wait to tell him, “you’ll do fine.”
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