Kaleb and Maiya are without a doubt in my mind my favorite children in the world. Rags read the following excerpt aloud to me today over Teddybear tea at the bakery. I sat dumbfounded by such a truth as I shovelled her chocolate chip cookies into my mouth and listened. Thoughts of these babies, my cousins who call me Aunty Meg (or Cunty Meg [you know, Cousin/Aunty, cunty? Awesome] depending on the urgency of the moment), their half Vietnamese faces flooded my brain as Rags read an Audrey Niffenegger excerpt with an exceptional evenness in her voice.
I was simply not thinking about a lot of important stuff because I was completely drunk with the notion of a baby: a baby that looked sort of like Henry, black hair and those intense eyes and maybe very pale like me and smelled like milk and talcum powder and skin, a sort of dumpling baby, gurgling and laughing at everyday stuff, a monkey baby, a small cooing sort of baby. I would dream about babies. In my dreams I would climb a tree and find a very small shoe in a nest; I would suddenly discover that the cat/book/sandwich I thought I was holding was really a baby; I would be swimming in the lake and find a colony of babies growing at the bottom.
I suddenly began to see babies everywhere; a sneezing red-haired girl in a sunbonnet at the A&P; a tiny staring Chinese boy, son of the owners, in the Golden Wok (home of wonderful vegetarian eggrolls); a sleeping almost bald baby at a Batman movie. In a fitting room in a JC Penny a very trusting woman actually let me hold her three-month-old daughter; it was all I could do to continue sitting in that pink-beige vinyl chair and not spring up and run madly away hugging that tiny soft being to my breasts.
My body wanted a baby. I felt empty and I wanted to be full. I wanted someone to love who would stay: stay and be there, always. And I wanted Henry to be in this child, so that when he was gone he wouldn't be entirely gone, there would be a bit of him with me... insurance, in case of fire, flood, act of God.
I sat and listened to her read this to me, and watched as the corners of her mouth curled up at all the funny parts that at twenty-something, we both understand to a tee. To a tea.
Tea for two.
As her voice trailed downwards and eventually stopped, we both slumped back in our chairs and looked at in each other in wonderment. Empty bodies and yet, not. Me in a dirty apron covered in soup and her in Marc Jacobs. It is nice to not be the only one who wants that fullness. My peers think I am insane, but I don't care. Now, look at my beautiful family. These two are the latest additions to Team Reimer and they add such joy and vitality to our family. Click on the photos to see them full size. I love them as if they were my own.
Introducing Kaleb (who is newly three) and baby Maiya (who is newly eight weeks).