When they placed him in my arms, I forgot all the pain I had endured for 16 long hours to bring him into this world. The first thing I did was to count all of his little fingers and toes. As beautiful and perfect as he could be, my only thought was that he looked nothing like me; and in my delirious state, I asked the nurse if she was positive she gave me the right baby — six other women had given birth that day. But of course, I knew he was mine; I was just disappointed he didn’t look much like me. After all… I did all the hard work and dad got all the glory. 😉 I guess I was expecting some credit for having to endured 9 months of weight gain, emotional turbulence, bloated feet, morning sickness, and the excessive craving for Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream — among other crazy food cravings — like eating 10 pounds of navel oranges in two days.
Being a new mom was quite an amazing experience to say the least; however, adding the inter-racial aspect of the child was amusing but not without challenges from the society. I discovered I wasn’t the only one who questioned my son’s relation to me. Some people had mistaken me as his nanny. When Dean was about 6 months old, and we were in the grocery story — a woman came up to us and gushed about how adorable he is. She then said to me “What a beautiful baby, I bet his mother must be really proud.” Surprised but humored by her remark, I just smiled and told her “Oh yes, his mom is very proud.” Or the time when we celebrated his 2nd birthday at a friend’s house in Canada and were detained by the border agents because they did not believe Dean was my kid. But the most memorable moment was when I enrolled him in school and had to check the infamous “Race” box on the application. I checked all that applied to him but was told I could only check one. After much debate, they finally relented and allowed me to check more than one box.
The last 18 years passed by a lot quicker than I have anticipated. Look at him now… all grown up. Although sometimes, I still find myself studying his features; looking for some resemblance to me. Hmm… I think he has my cheekbones… and maybe the bottom lip? 🙂