Mine. All mine.
Now that Elliot and I are out and about town, we often meet strangers who like to have a look inside the bassinet and see who’s in there. I like to watch them smile when they meet him. He makes me smile and so when he makes randoms smile too, I think how happy the world would be if I could bottle his smile and give it away. Pretty sappy, I know. Also, I can’t wait for the days when he is big enough to have on my hip. I have always had a nice image of that in my mind. Though he weighs a ton, he’s just too little for that. If he’s out of the stroller, he is up against my shoulder, where he likes to snuggle in, look at the world and be adorable. Thankfully nobody has tried to touch him, I would bite them if they did. Mama bear.
When we come across someone who says hello, they more often than not exclaim how beautiful he is (Aww!) how I don’t look like I just had a baby (Oh my, thank you!) and how proud my husband must be to have such a son (Um, hold the phone). My inside reaction is almost always, “Shit.” It happened a lot when I was pregnant too – how excited my husband must be to have a boy on the way. No ring on my finger. No man at my side. No woman either. Just me. And still.
A few things I have heard:
Your husband must be over the moon.
Your husband must be so proud.
He looks like you! Does he look like his father too?
I bet your husband can’t wait til he’s old enough to run around.
Oooh he is big! Hope your man gave you a good push present!
For crying out loud. I am over the moon. I am so proud. He looks very much like me and also my sperm donor’s provided childhood photos. I bought myself a push present thank you very much, actually 2! One is a silver beaded deco-style necklace I fell in love with and the other a metal cuff bracelet that makes me feel like Wonder Woman. And also my friend who was my awesome birthing partner gave me a push present too, it was a hilarious gesture and I love her for doing it.
These kind strangers aren’t being rude, they are being kind. They are wrong, but they are kind. I feel like a liar if I take the easy way and nod my head and say yes, totally, my husband is over the moon. Who cares if I did, they are strangers just being nice. But I also feel a pull to want to educate the world that some women choose to have babies on their own. But I don’t want to come off severe or rude, as it would take a breezy moment and add heft to it and perhaps some confusion. I also realize that saying I am unmarried and/or had a baby on my own, makes strangers wonder what happened to the father of my beautiful baby – Was there a divorce? Maybe it was a one-night stand? Did he die? Sigh.
One morning, instead of my deer in the headlights response, I solved it forever. I shook my head no and smiled and said, “He’s all mine.“ From then on, that’s what I always say.