March 1, 2013
My Gangster Sons
It happened in one swift instance.
I birthed a gangster.
We didn't know right away.
It would take a few hours to discover.
During his exam he was deemed well.
Then they passed him to me.
I gazed down at my first born son, expecting to see a peaceful babe, swaddled and ready to eat.
Instead, I saw a baby boy looking me over and squinting one eye.
We thought it was cute. Newly born and checking us out with one eye.
We were in denial.
It would take a few hours. Then we would start to wonder.
Why was he only looking at us with one eye?
Was he assessing the situation? Getting down to the nitty-gritty?
I worried, had he figured me, just an ordinary girl, out already? Did he know I had no clue how to be a momma, that he was my first and therefore every of his firsts would be my firsts, too? Did he know he was paving the way for others and he was sizing me up for the task?
Or did he think he'd better keep an eye, one to be exact, on me at all times?
A few hours old newborn measuring up his momma.
Though he could physically open both, he only peered at me with one eye open.
The other, he squinted.
We called him One Eye.
All our love was bound up in him. We were amazed at his every expression. Laughed at each squint and snuggled deep down into the crook of his neck with kisses.
And our tough guy, well, he'd laugh too, and resume the one eye challenge.
I don't remember when he stopped the one eye squint.
He was only a couple days old when it was gone.
Maybe he decided to rise to the challenge and accepted his plight with two young parents still learning their way in the world.
But, we would never forget his gangster start.
Tucking it away in the crooks and crannies of our memories.
Until, seven years later, it happened again.
Another gangster entered our family.
His birth, an extremely quick event, landed him in the arms of an unprepared doctor and two startled nurses. His face red as he howled in protest.
The nurse whisked him over to the exam table.
He flailed about, protesting and squirming, getting nowhere fast.
She quickly finished her tests and in less than two minutes he was in my arms,
waiting to be fed.
But when I gazed down upon our second son, I saw not just a red crying baby, I saw a fighter.
With self-imposed scratch marks all over his face, the proof was evident.
All his fighting and protesting through the tests had resulted in his little finger nails catching his delicate skin. Both eyes were opened wide, and he was on the look out.
"Well, he's not a One Eye," my husband laughed as he was taken in by our newborn's gaze.
"No," I laughed.
"He's Scar Face."
PS - We mitted his hands and his face healed in less than two days. It's funny how these two still boys show some of those same traits. Our oldest son, he observes, assesses, determines the correct path, and then proceeds. Our youngest, well, he's different. He scans, locates a problem, and aggressively attacks it head on.
The Fine Print: It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway. I was just reminiscing and having fun on a Friday. It is not my intention to offend. If any reader is offended by my sense of humor, or lack of, depending on your point of view, then I apologize.
Have a great weekend!
Posted in: Family