Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Love of a Child

The other night we celebrated the birthday of a friend at a pizzeria. Another guest was "showing" a six-month bulge. I remembered my own pregnancy, and noted there was no sharp pang of sadness, merely the registration: she's going to deliver in January, just like I did. 
My aim was to show interest, without saying anything that might invite a question about us having children. No need to talk about our loss, no need to scare an expecting mother, no need to draw the attention away from the present birthday celebration. 
The woman mentioned her due date. The day our baby daughter was born, and died. 

At the table next to ours, seating fourteen quests, an Ethiopian family was preparing to eat. A little girl of about three, eager to have her plate filled, brought a smile to my face. Her mother noticed, and smiled back at me, her two female companions turning in their seats, did the same, while the father helped his small daughter to salad and pizza. 

Their party finished before ours, as everybody got up, the little girl kissed her aunties. Her mother gestured she should say goodbye to me as well. Holding out her arms she ran over to me. Grabbing my hand she lifted her face for a kiss. Calling her Sweetie, I lightly pressed my lips on her forehead. A birthday present, for me.