It’s a busy mall-it’s nearly Christmas, and I’m sitting waiting for my husband, perched on a rather soft bench. Waiting doesn’t bother me when my kids aren’t involved, so I casually stare around me, the sale signs, the ridiculous advertisements. I remember I want to get a coffee card for my father, and think to get up and wander over.
I notice a father with his young son, maybe 6 months, giggling and cooing over his shoulder. He’s beautiful-pink and perfect in the way only a baby that age can be. I try not to stare, not at the hands holding him, not at the way the child bends into his father, utterly safe and sound. I remember our daughters doing much the same.
His wife arrives, with two other boys, adorable, well behaved mischievous little boys, all in little hats with ears and flaps and beaver tails. She’s dressed them alike in football shirts in case one goes missing in the mall.
I exchange giggles and broad smiles with the baby, resisting the urge to stretch over and steal him away, to feel that new skin, the softness you could sink into. His parents seal him in the buggy, and away they go, trailing puppy dog tails behind them.
My heart aches, and pounds, and some small spot in my belly whimpers and cries. It wants one of those, a small boy child, and it can’t have one. It finally wants, and it can only watch it walk away.