Born in the early light of day, the baby’s eyes are shut tight, so are his fists. Swaddled and lying in his crib, he wonders who this strange thing is that smiles at him, flashes lights in his eyes, and laughs so loudly.
One day he will understand why she props him up against the corner of the sofa and giggles when he teeters over and falls onto the soft cushions. She tickles him, but he forgives her because she smells of milk and she is warm when she cuddles him.
A crowd of people (for now he knows what these creatures are) gather around him. Mommy dresses him in a scratchy outfit and there is laughter and jabber, things people do when there is more than one in the same room. They “ooh” and “aah” in one voice as one of them, he sounds like a daddy, pours water over his head and smears slippery stuff on his forehead. Doesn’t that usually go on the other end?
Pages turn. Birthdays and Christmases come and go. Some school day pictures capture smiles, others don’t. Only his family, his grandmother, or Farrah Fawcett gets a smile out him.
He loves to swim, to eat potato chips, and to play outdoors. He doesn’t smile in soccer pictures. He hates being a little teapot, and he hates the jerk who stole his bike when he was ten.
He dyes his hair purple and green, and the camera turns its attention on the baby sister and the little brother. Instead, Mother collects his stories, his poems, and his art in the album.
The pages slow down, but that’s okay. Now a new face smiles on those pages. . . .
Born in the early light of day, the baby’s eyes are shut tight, so are her fists. Swaddled and lying in her crib, she wonders who this strange thing is that smiles at her, flashes lights in her eyes, and laughs so loudly. He tickles her but she forgives him because this person she calls Daddy is so warm and cuddly.