Our son entered the world twenty-seven days ago - one rotation of the earth for each of my trips around the sun. He came in wailing, as all of us do, a writhing ball of fury at the cold and the light and the trauma of birth. He is quieter now, asleep against my breast, drawing small, quick, breaths that sound like the opening of a door hung on old hinges.
I spend my days and my nights meditating on the clockwise swirl of his downy hair, his pink, shimmering, thirsty, tongue, the web of miniature veins in his eyelids and ears, as intricate, as perfect, as the wings of a butterfly. My son. My Brendan. My gift from a God whose goodness I have never known until now.
When he cries, I ache. When I sing to him, I must whisper the words, or my voice will crack with the tears surging behind my eyes. There is nothing I would not do, no sacrifice I would not make, to provoke that gummy, open-mouthed smile. And now I understand.
I always say, "I love you," to my mother when we hang up the phone.
"I love you more," she says.
"I can never win that game," I laugh.
"That's right," she says, "because I'm the mom."
Yes. Now I understand.
All Clear! - Of all the memories, experiences and things I brought back from Uganda, I have managed not to bring Malaria with me. I was so happy I had to share it with ...
9 years ago