considering my son's nose in the mirror, i see finally just how crooked it is, how the whole left side slants down, covering the nostril, leading down to the scar and the tightened, knotted lip, raised where it should not be, the two halves connecting incorrectly and i am overwhelmed by sadness and anger and the injustice of my life, the way my body failed me so... i am dying to try to have another baby just to prove that i can do it, that i can make a whole person and feed that person as i was intended to and nurture and cradle that person how i wanted to with alex, but was prohibited from. i am so jealous of all the perfect babies out in the world and the perfect mommies who can do so easily what i could not do at all. i remember when he was born, how i tried to nurse and couldn't and how he screamed at my chest. i remember how the two sides of his upper lip could move independently in ways that were not intended by upper lips to move. and now, i am reminded of this every time i brush his teeth and the inside of his upper lip is so tight from the forced connections of tissue that it is hard to reach his upper teeth, let alone see them. and at the moments that i do get a look at his teeth, there is a tooth that slants sideways and back because it is in the hole where nothing should be and just to the left of it, there are no teeth at all because there is no gum at all. every night at bedtime and every morning after breakfast as i say, "brush teeth" and he repeats and points towards the toothpaste and the toothbrush, "teeth, teeth," i am reminded that there are surgeries yet to come and orthodontics reminiscent of medieval devices employed by barber surgeons yet to come and rhinoplasties and implants and god knows what else all yet to come. all this tells my heart is that it takes but moments to set in motion pain and suffering enough for a lifetime...




considering my son's foot this morning upon waking, i took in the toenail and the toes, the peachiness and the plumpness. for now there are no freckles on his feet, no moles, no scars, no hair upon the toes, but one day, there might be. one day, when he is older and no longer my baby cradled in my arms. and i will no longer consider his feet and spend time considering if there are freckles or hairs, long or short springing from the knuckles of the toes. i will no longer wonder over each inch of his skin, looking for new freckles sprung up. at the moment, at last count, my son had six freckles: one on the back of his right ear, one on his right elbow, one on his left wrist, one on his left cheek, one on his anus, and one on the top of his right hand below the knuckle of the middle finger. will there come a day when all i consider is him, who he is, his personality, and no longer the wonder of skin and muscle that i created out of the magical, unseen division of gamete cells? it is such a soft, tender thing to know my son so well, to hold him close and smell his hair, kiss his head. i do this everyday. it is the joy of warm summer days filling me up, of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies still warm from the oven. it is a first kiss and the knowledge of true love. and every single day i get to feel this by simply holding him and rocking him to sleep. i am nervous of when the day will come when he will be too big for my arms and will no longer be so peaceful, but roughed and tumbled up by the miseries of life. my son, his human form, as the physical expression of my heart beating outside of my body is astonishing to me every single day.