Read an Excerpt
Naming the Baby
Joyce M. Fischer
When the test shows a clear, dark, unmistakably pink line, I still have trouble believing it. Yes, we fiddled and timed and even sent positive mental energy, but we are talking about a miracle here. I feel a slight pulling in my pelvis and I want to grab the bakery lady by the wrist and say, "I'm going to have a baby!"
T Then the first, dark cloud. What will we name her? (I simply know it's a girl like I know my hands are attached to my arms.) My mouth goes cold. I have to create the most integral fact of this child, the first word she will walk into a room with or be judged by, even before she shows her true eyes, her sturdy body.
Kate. She will be Kate. Sensible, practical, strong, capable, a friendly, open face. I try calling her Kate, and it is only after a few days that I realize Kate would be a great next door neighbor, but I am carrying a miracle between my hips, and there's just no way she is a Kate.
Small, quiet waves of metallic nausea follow my every move, but I am enchanted. Here is my chance for redeeming grace. To create a person of such quiet, calm beauty that my own bitten fingernails and short-waisted body are lifted into an easy, graceful peace. Tall and slender, with a long neck and upturned palms, eyes the silver-green of leaves in afternoon shade. The name drifts from the lips like the gentlest of breezes. Then I see the cruel trick that the name would be, if she were short and round and full of a snappy strength that gives her voice a rich shine. I can't carry a Willow in my body.