...where distraction is the main attraction.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Two Jazz Tunes for Birthday Beatrice Joy

When she came out, she was silent. I can't do justice in writing to capture the liquefying dread I felt in that moment. All of our pregnancies had been full of tragedy or terror, and this one was no exception. But then I saw Beatrice's clear brilliant eyes open wide between their butterfly wing lashes. Her stare traversed the room for a moment, then she released a short coughing cry to clear her lungs.

Kristen had been (and still is) an excellent sport, letting me put together a Birthing Gametime playlist. She wanted the most peaceful ethereal soothing stuff I could assemble. Amongst all the Sigur Ros and Brian Eno compositions, it was "It Never Entered My Mind" by The Miles Davis Quintet that she liked the best. And it was to that song Beatrice Joy was born.

When I'd first heard the song, when we were pregnant with Mathilda, I was nearly in tears. I would have never guessed it was one of Miles's works, due its direct emotive piano part. A fantasy then began, in the back of my mind, of a future retrospective slideshow of our quiet, calm, Mathilda-to-be. Of course, Mathilda turned out to be, well...

From the start, Beatrice was like a cherub or the jolly Budai. A center of calm and, yes, joy. She laughed so early. She loved to be snuggled. Like a fool, I sorta kinda totally utilized her to lift me out of frequent frustrations and anxiety attacks. Then she became her own person.

She has her sister's emotion, strength and intelligence, but gives it her own spin. With those big eyes and awesome rocker girl hair, she flirts and charms, then issues her decrees. Constantly in motion, she is faster than any child I've seen.

One recent morning, Cannonball Adderley's "Money in the Pocket" filled our kitchen while Bea propelled herself across the floor one way, and then back the other direction in a giddy blur. It was obvious she'd added a new song to her soundtrack.

Despite months and months of colds, coughs, fevers and continuing health trials, all of which have been the greatest struggles of her life, Bea has remained a gleeful sprite. Meanwhile, her father still cusses out the world and existence when he catches two red traffic lights in a row. It's no joke, my daughters have things to teach me that no one else can.

Happy First Birthday, Beatrice Joy!