Monday, July 24, 2006

Beautiful Boy

Damn, my son is beautiful. Is it possible that every parent thinks their child is the most beautiful in the world, but that mine really is? I mean, objectively the most beautiful so that any unbiased observer would agree?

When I was pregnant with our sperm donor baby, I must admit I worried a bit.

You see, we didn't get to see any pictures of our donor. We didn't get to observe him and see what he was like. He sounded great on paper - dark hair and blue eyes (like me and my partner), intelligent enough to have a degree, healthy enough to be a sports nut, and willing to be contacted if needed. But of course, I couldn't help thinking of all the men I knew in real life who would look great on paper but who you would never want to know better. And genetics, while not everything, is a very powerful thing.

So when I was pregnant, while I longed to hold our baby and look into his face, while at some level I trusted that things would be okay, I just sometimes worried that our donor might be an absolute gargoyle.

There was something primal about this fear. When I was a kid, I was very into Greek legends. And one great theme of those legends is the rape of earth women and impregnation by gods and monsters. With an unknown biological father, who knew, when the time came, exactly what kind of creature I might bear?

But also something rational. The world is not kind to ugly people. While I knew that I would love an ugly baby, the world would not agree.

But in fact, our son truly is beautiful. At ten months old, when he is no longer the kind of tiny, very young baby that draws women like a magnet, strangers still stop us in the supermarket to coo over him and compliment us.

Actually, he looks a lot like me, and yet somehow the features which on me are merely reasonably attractive have been tweaked just that tiny fraction that makes them beautiful instead. And he has these amazingly long eyelashes that everyone comments on. You can see people looking at my partner, and looking at me, and wondering where those long, lush eyelashes come from. Wasted on a boy, they always say. I don't agree.

Most days, when he is going off to sleep, I sing him John Lennon's Beautiful Boy.

I watched him this morning. He is just on the threshold of walking for the first time. He can push his little wooden trolley along the floor, and last night he was trying to take his first steps without holding on to anything. He would take one, then another, then get so excited that he would overreach and fall over. I looked at his triumphant little face, and his plump, sturdy little legs, so determined, so delighted with himself, and I just fell in love with him all over again.

So he is gorgeous and I am totally in love with him.

Which is just as well, since our first weeks were so difficult that I had a near constant urge to drop kick the little bastard over the balcony.


Blogger C-Marie said...

EMILY!! This is going to be a GREAT Blog!!! I'm loving it already!


5:37 PM  
Blogger Bromley said...

Wonderful post. I have an adopted son and had those very same fears before he was born and came home to be a part of our family. I was terrified he would be ugly. I felt terribly shallow but, like you was blessed with beautiful baby. He a big boy now and your post makes me miss those baby days.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

"Which is just as well, since our first weeks were so difficult that I had a near constant urge to drop kick the little bastard over the balcony."

Spoken like a true mommy! (j/k) Emily, your words (not the quoted ones above, btw - lol) so beautifully portray what every parent feels for their children, especially in those unfortgettable earliest years of their lives.

3:36 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Thanks, C-Marie, I like yours, too, even though sometimes its a little painful to read something so close to home.

Bromley - Thank you. And I am so interested in your blog, I have linked up to you, too!

5:35 PM  

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