(With love: to Rhia Alden Brown, b. December 3, 2004)
Son: Are you still awake?
Son: Wow, it’s late there.
Son: We’re home from the hospital.
Mother: Can’t sleep.
Mother: I figured you were still at the hospital.
Son: We got back about a half hour ago.
Mother: How is Rhia adjusting to being in this world?
Son: Just fine...She’s still asleep in her car seat.
Son: She’s making faces, so she must be kind of awake.
Mother: Maybe you’ll luck out and have a baby who sleeps through the night.
Son: Maybe. She’s very laid back and happy.
Mother: The pics are absolutely adorable.
Mother: She looks like you at that age. Do you think she’s going to have brown eyes?
Son: I was tired when I did them–she weighed 8.6, as the scale showed, not 8.4 as I wrote in the e-mail.
Son: I don’t know if her eyes will be brown.
Son: Hard to tell yet.
Mother: They look brown already.
Son: They are gray right now.
Mother: But that might be the lighting.
Mother: I just want to hug her.
Mother: She’s kind of roly-poly–comes by it honestly. Hehehehe.
Mother: I’m looking at her pic now–ran some off the computer. I just want to reach and pull her out.
Son: Yes...she is cute, although she’s pooping as we speak.
Mother: Hehehehe. Babies do that.
Son: PJ says she’s making a present for Daddy.
Mother: Oh, Boy! Just being a daddy’s girl.
Mother: Has your dad seen her yet?
Son: Oh, yes. We had to pry her out of his hands...
Mother: Hardy, har, har! Told ya!
Son: He came to the hospital last night...with Grandma and Grandpa.
Mother: I figured that there would be a trail of relatives–Beam me across the ocean, Scotty!
Mother: How is PJ holding up?
Mother: After all, she did all the hard work.
Mother: Though she looked pretty lively in later pics.
Son: She’s doing well.
Mother: Good–while we’re all going goo-goo eyed over sweet Rhia, we don’t want to forget who did all the hard work.
Mother: Way to go, PJ!
Son: No pain medication for the birth process.
Son: She’s a tough girl.
Mother: I’m impressed! I asked for every pain medication on the market. Coward, I!
Son: Sorry, we changed her diaper; now PJ is feeding her.
Mother: She wasn’t in a hurry to greet this world, but it sounds as though she has embraced it fully.
Son: She poops, and then decides she’s starving, so she’s upset during the diaper change cause she wants to eat.
Mother: Good sign.
Mother: A robust, baby girl and a healthy appetite.
Mother: I’ll bet Amy and Jenn are excited–they sure looked happy in the pics.
Son: Yes, we stopped by their grandma’s house on the way home so that they could see her again.
Mother: The thing about babies–they seem to come with a lot of promise and potential. You and PJ will help her realize that. I have great faith in your abilities there.
Son: She’s peacefully eating now.
Mother: I can almost visualize that tableau. Sigh.................
Mother: Your grandmother was describing how thrilled you are, and what Rhia means to you. I’m glad that PJ’s ex-mother-in-law is so understanding.
Son: Yes, she is wonderful :-)
Mother: That’s SO cool. It could have been otherwise.
Son: One look at her, and I was hooked.
Mother: Yes, I can see that–I think, though, that you were hooked the minute you found out you were going to be a daddy.
Mother: And you didn’t pass out at the birth....
Son: No, it was quite an experience.
Mother: Wow–back in the states, I’d watch those maternity ward shows on Lifetime–and it was something else.
Son: PJ and the doctor said I was good while she was in labor.
Mother: I can see that.
Mother: I was definitely there in spirit–I thought about you all day, even though we spent half the day chasing after our [residence] visa. Grrrrr.
Son: Rhia doesn’t seem to like eating for a long period of time...just a little bit at a time.
Son: Now she’s eating again.
Mother: That’s normal–You’d drink one or two ounces, and then you’d stop, only to be hungry again in an hour or two–
Mother: –Babies need to contemplate–drink in the world. Everything’s so new and bright after the wet, warm darkness of the womb.
Son: Yes, I suppose so.
Mother: The sensory experience for newborns must be absolutely overwhelming.
Son: Yes, that one picture was really when she opened her eyes for the first time.
Son: She looked like she was trying to open her eyes, then she opened them.
Mother: Wow, I can only imagine how that must have been for her...
Mother: One of the pics I printed out was that first one with her eyes open.
Mother: I’m going to be an obnoxious grandma–everyone who comes through these doors MUST look at her pics.
Mother: I wanted to post a birth announcement on the door, but Jerry wouldn’t let me. I even printed her name in Cyrillic.
Mother: I’ll e-mail you her name in Cyrillic–it’s pretty.
Son: She is a cutie, though–
Mother: What is her voice like?
Son: –Like all the women in my house. How lucky am I?
Mother: You are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO lucky!
Son: She makes a lot of little sounds, some of which sound like words–
Mother: All those wild women–hehehehe–
Mother: OOOOhhh, a smartie; she’ll be reading by next week.
Mother: We’ll have to send her to college at six months.
Mother: But she won’t be allowed to drive until her feet can reach the pedals.
Son: She needs something to do whilst soiling her diaper–reading will work nicely.
Mother: Again? Super-pooper?
Son: She is related to us, after all.
Son: No, not now–
Son: –still eating.
Mother: She could be related to Jerry–ha.
Mother: PhD by age three...
Son: I’d better go, but we’ll have to chat soon.
Mother: Okay, I’m getting tired.
Son: Sleep tight.