I’m going to tell you a story. It’s the story of what would happen if a baby could choose it’s mother.
A woman sits on a bench smiling at the sunshine of the bright Florida spring day. Her smile is radiant. It is one of the reasons her husband loves her. It is one of the reasons the baby’s spirit gives pause as it flies by.
The smile is typical in that it is full of perfectly straight white teeth, but atypical in the fact that when the woman smiles, it changes the symmetry of her face, making her features radiant.
It is captivating, and beautiful.
The baby’s spirit sits in the tree branch above the woman to listen to her speak to her husband, a tall man with a head full of curly dark hair.
“I’d like to name her ‘Danielle’,” the husband says, but the woman with the dazzling smile shakes her head.
“I don’t want her called ‘Danny’. Let’s call her something short and simple,” the woman says. “I’ve had a name picked out since I was a child. Short and sweet.”
“What makes you think we’ll have a girl?” the man asks, taking his wife’s hand affectionately. Although he is tan, large, and muscular, his looks belie his nature. He is gentle and kind.
The woman smiles. This time it isn’t bright, but full of mystery. “I just know.”
The baby’s spirit leans closer. It feels like that smile it meant for her. She listens to the couple chat a while, taking note that they are intelligent, love art and music, and most of all, each other. The woman has a soft voice, a soothing voice. It is the type of voice that doesn’t need to be raised to be heard. It’s the type of voice that could ease a person to sleep and act like a balm on a scared soul. It is the type of voice that made a lonely, wandering baby’s spirit feel at home.
The woman’s hands also catch the baby spirit’s attention. The skin is pale, the fingers long, the nails neatly trimmed. When the woman touches her husband’s shoulder, he relaxes. When she brushes back her dark hair, the fingers are both graceful and meticulous. The baby’s spirit imagines those fingers caring for it throughout its life. In its human infancy, it would enjoy those loving fingers everyday. In adulthood, the grown daughter would wish for her mother’s soothing touch.
Watching the woman almost had the baby’s spirit convinced. It flew forward to sit on her shoulder in order to see if her soul was as beautiful as her smile, her voice, her fingers. As the baby’s spirit made contact with the woman, a peace settled over it. The woman was as kind as the man. Her soul was calm, but it also had a yearning. The soul wished to connect to another. It had her wonderful husband’s soul, but it needed more. A young soul – the woman’s soul wished to be a mother.
The baby’s spirit gave a happy sigh and allowed itself to sink into the woman. It’s decision was made.
In two months time, the woman would give her husband his first Father’s Day card. In nine months time, the couple would have a baby girl. The man would duct tape her diapers on. The woman would shake her head.
In five years, the couple would win over two more searching baby’s spirits. In eighteen years, they would begin to send the first off into the world. In twenty-nine years, they would maintain a friendship with the grown child whose spirit had chosen them on that day under the summer sun. In twenty-nine years, the grown child, the daughter, would feel forever grateful that her mother was her mother.