After Birth

This is what no one tells you

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Orazio Gentileschi “Madonna and Child” / WikiMedia Commons

I don’t like the way this kid looks at me and that’s messed up. He’s my kid.

This isn’t how it’s supposed to be, dammit. Everyone told me I’d love this kid on sight. I sure didn’t love the sight of my belly stretching and ballooning out. It was like being in a slow-motion horror movie with that awful day growing closer and no way to get out of it.

But here’s the thing, there’s nothing wrong with this kid. And I mean nothing.

In fact, he’s perfect. Christ, it’s creepy. I’m no beauty queen and, rest his soul, Marty was your average potato-faced mick. But this kid, this boy with silky hair and wide, blue eyes, where did he come from?

“Mommy, how far away are the clouds?”

“Like I’d know? Look, don’t you have something else to do? Go play in traffic.”

“But I’m not allowed off the front porch.”

“Figure it out.”

I’ve got one of my headaches coming on. Sometimes, I can dodge the worst of it by going right back to bed. What am I gonna do about the kid, though? If I’d stayed in Camden I could call my sister or one of the cousins (they all love kids).

“Look, I need you to stay in and watch TV. leave the house and don’t answer the phone; let the machine get it.”

“When can I go play in traffic?” He gets that cute shit from Marty and I don’t bother answering. I need to get into a dark room stat. Already that piping, little kid voice is scraping the inside of my temples and not in a good way.

I stop in the john and get some of my pills. My hands are shaking and it’s hard to get them into my mouth. I dry swallow them, pouring water is beyond me now, and then stumble into the bedroom to yank down the blinds and curl into a miserable ball in the middle of the bed.

I think I was too late this time.

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Writing because I can’t not write. Twitter: @RemingtonWrite or Email me at:

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