Had I been able to see from behind the sheet the nurses had tented around me I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to blame him. Stare at the innards of your wife and listen as the doctors complain about a particularly sticky placenta, or feast your eyes on new life? If you think about it, there was no competition really.
It's been two years and seven months since that day. My scar has shrunk and turned silver, the baby has grown into a little girl. In the mornings now when I get dressed it is with only an obligatory satisfaction. Like, okay, great, good job self, now I won't catch a nipple in the zipper of my coat. However, when I dress Zoey, it is with the excitement of a pre-teen going to her first dance.
Should she wear the smocked sweater dress or the pink one with giraffes? Hat or no hat? Boots with dingleberries or maryjanes? Purse, yes, definitely the owl purse! Who-who!
The truth is it still is about me. I see my reflection in those oversized eyes, in the way that she bites her lower lip before laughing. And I catch myself sometimes, trotting her out for show, presenting Gypsy Rose Lee at the American Kennel Club Classics. Cute dress! And I smile demurely, mmmm, thank you. Because in some ways I am now forever flayed open, my guts exposed and drying from the breeze. And the only way I know how to protect myself--protect her--is with distraction. But those glasses--oh. Did you see how cute she is in those glasses?