The medical imaging specialist spilled the beans. Minutes later she sheepishly informed me to wait for confirmation from my physician. She was young, new to the job and in violation of company policy. Though I assured her the secret was safe with me, I didn’t require extra verification. I knew it was a boy. Call it mother’s intuition; I had known it in my heart even before I heard the beating of his.
Nevertheless, Dr. Mirren gave the word a week later and it became official. I was thrilled. Having already been blessed with a magical little girl, a little boy would make a wonderful (and final) addition to our family.
We drove home with joyful hearts, my tiny brood and I. For the first time we were able to voice specific hopes and dreams for our little boy. What he would be like, would he inherit his father’s athleticism, logic and Caesar-esq nose, my love for learning and strong will? Even Noé participated with a promise of “Share toys baby, mummy!” I will remind her of this statement in the future when the inevitable sharing squabbles erupt. For now, our joy was palpable.
Later that night as I succumbed to insomnia (one of the joys of my pregnancy), my baby boy saturated mind turned to dark thoughts. We’re having a boy. We are about to bring a little boy, a little Danejewrican (Danish-Jewish-Nigerian-American), who will be half black, into this world.
A world that prejudges and often dismisses or condemns people based on the color of their skin. A world in which he will be required for his own safety, to be wary of even those who have taken oaths to protect him. A world where mothers (and fathers) bury their sons and daughters, fallen prey to senseless hate and injustice.
And in that moment my jubilation turned to dust and I wished that my little boy could stay right where he is, in the relative safety of my womb. The chaos would continue, but thankfully truth creeps in and forcibly tears me from the fear spiral to remind me.
It reminds me that the only one who truly decides who our little boy will be and what his life will be like is his Creator. It reminds me that as his parents and his tribe, we will get to surround and instill in him the right values, to cloth him in love and arm him with wisdom. I am reminded that I can either place my faith in opinions and actions fueled by ignorance and hatred, or I can fix it on the Creator who paid a great price to secure my son’s immeasurable worth. I choose the latter.
Now returned to my calmer self, I do not forget that though I am grateful for my new resolve, it does not alter the reality that there remain inequalities and injustices to rectify (both those that directly affect us and otherwise). And that we are part of the fight; we are part of the solution.
Baby boy you have a role to play and I wait, not with a faint heart, but with hope and breathless anticipation to welcome you and watch you make your mark.