chicks, pants, showing it all, dancing


See the Shadows of Innocence and Sanity

a shadow of the day

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need friends, slipping away, let go
From Nisha.

Emily smiles and says the baby is due in the spring. The illicit baby, her baby, is due on her own birthday. She holds onto her stomach and smiles like it is the greatest joy in the world to have a child out of wedlock and into a world where there is such hatred. A world where the child will be rejected almost out of hand.

I try to smile and make the best of things, as I am going to basically be the aunt the baby never had. The baby’s aunt and godmother, minus the wand.

Emily grins and talks about the baby coming in the spring. How she needs all kinds of little things like baby booties, and blankets, and snugglies. And she knows that she will soon need big things to care for the infant, like strollers, and diaper bags, and car seats. But she cannot help it, she tells me. She tells me she is pregnant and that it is the greatest thing in the world to happen to her for a long time. If it was not for the morning sickness, she would be dancing and jumping for joy.

I nod, and I offer to make her some of the things she is asking for, or rather, will be needing for the baby. I am pretty handy with a needle and thread, I say. Years of practice in theatre stitching up costumes and last minute preparations make for a pretty good seamstress. I am the honorary aunt, I say with a crystalline bright smile that is twice as fragile as it looks. I should be helping with the upcoming addition to the family. And I am sure she could use the help.

A couple of months pass, and Emily is sitting in the living room of my little apartment above my parents’ garage, watching me stitch together pieces of fabric. She tells me that she had an ultrasound for the first time a weak before. The baby… it is a boy. As godmother and aunt, she says, it is my job to make sure he gets spoiled rotten so she is not too strict on him. She smiles sheepishly and says she has no idea of how to raise a son. What will he think of her when he goes to school?

I pat her hand idly. It is nothing. It is going to be fine, I say, and continue to stitch in the fading light. I can hear her sigh, and murmur about this being no way to start a relationship or bring a child into the world. I give her a sad smile because I know that this has not been the easiest few months for her and ask the question that has been at the back of my mind. How does Dinah feel, knowing that the baby is yours but not hers?

Emily cradles her stomach in her arms and smiles. She is thrilled, she says. We will be the perfect two mommies for this little boy. It does not matter who was the father.

I can only hope Dinah feels the same way, I think to myself, and return to stitching together scraps of fabric for the baby in the spring.


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