By Lyra Pore
“Mom, are you going to have another baby?”
“How do you know?”
“We can’t afford another baby.”
“Mom, you don’t have to buy it! You just pop the baby out of your tummy!”
To my seven-year-old daughter, having a baby is but a simple matter. Several years ago when there were only two children in the family, she pointed to the empty seats around the dining table. “Maybe we should have another baby,” she said, “so someone can sit on that chair.”
Indeed we’ve had one more baby since she uttered those words. Not really to fill empty chairs in our dining room, but because we always found joy in having children around the house.
We broke the news to the girls in the park. “We’re having a baby,” their dad told them as we all sat around a picnic table next to the playground.
“Are they going to cut up your tummy in the hospital?” They asked. “Or are you going to pee and the baby comes out?”
“I’m going to pee,” I said. I’ve had two natural deliveries and was expecting the third to be the same.
“Is she going to have blond hair and blue eyes? Some of our classmates have blond hair.”
“We can’t have a blond-haired baby.”
“Well, Daddy and I are Filipinos and Filipinos have black hair.”
When the baby finally arrived, the girls came to visit us at the hospital. They looked at her lovingly as she slept in her bassinet.
“Can she speak English?”
“Not yet. Newborn babies just cry. They have some growing up to do before they can talk.”
“Can she eat sinigang?”
“Not yet. But someday she will.”