C 2004 By Gracie Prior
I saw Elizabeth today. She is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. No, really. She is pink and small, but not wrinkly. She has bluish eyes, but Mom says all babies have blue eyes. Her hair is like mine, but darker and redder. I got to hold her. She looked at me and threw her arm at my face. Mom and Dad are so happy. I guess they always wanted a big family. Well, two girls are nice. I am so tired. I’ll have to write more later. Mary.
* * *
Mary was sitting in the large green chair in the living room when the doorbell rang. She was holding Bitty so she let Mom get the door. Mom was moving slowly, but she said she felt good. After three rings, Mom opened the door and there stood Jimmy, with flowers naturally, Terry with a card and Butch with a small gift. Mrs. Brewster invited them in. “How nice to see you boys. Come right on in.”
“You can come see the baby,” Mary said. “Just don’t get too close.”
“Mary, the boys won’t hurt the baby,” Mom said. “You can look all you want.”
The boys gave Mrs. Brewster their gifts and sat down looking at Mary and Bitty. “She looks just like you, Mary,” Jimmy said as if in awe.
“Yeah, she’s very pretty. Only not as pretty as you, Mary, of course.” Terry gave Mary a side smile as if in jest, but Mary took the compliment to her heart.
"My mom says babies can’t smile. Has she smiled at you yet? If she does, it’s just gas, so don’t get too excited.” Butch reached out his hand to touch the baby’s hair and then drew it back. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a new baby up close like this.” He was acting nervous as if he wanted to get more involved, but didn’t know how.
“Mom, I think Butch wants to hold the baby. Is that O.K.?”
“No, I don’t.” Butch lied.
“That’s perfectly fine. Mary, you show him how to support the head and all.”
Butch sat on the green ribbed couch and Mary got up carefully and placed the baby in his arms. The baby raised her arms out wide and up. Then she settled down and looked at his face. Butch looked carefully at Bitty. “Mary, she smiled at me! She did. I saw it.”
“Awe Butch, that’s gas, remember?" Jimmy reached out his finger and the baby grasped it. “See that? She likes me.”
Terry didn’t want to be outdone. He started to sing Turra Lurra Lurra, the song he loved to sing to his own sister. Bitty spoke. “Snorfle, snorfle,” she said.
Mrs. Brewster came in and took Elizabeth. “Time to feed Bethie. It was so nice of you boys to come. Thank you for the gifts. And come and see her anytime. Mary’s going to be spending a lot of time with her. So please excuse her from some of the meetings for awhile.”
* * *
It’s so unreal. Here’s my dad who just got past a really scary coughing sickness. Now the baby comes on a trail of goodness. Mary was such a trooper in the gym show. Her reward was that she got through it without even one swat. And my tumbling is so great. I feel like the wind when I jump and turn. Things are going so well. What’s that the minister says? “Count your blessings.” Summer is coming. I have three of the best friends anyone could want. Our play is coming along great and we’ll get to act in it, too. This time is so special. Some day we’ll all scatter here and there. But right now, there is light and not darkness and I will rejoice. Terry
(Next week: what is going on in Butch's world?)