When I awoke the evening after I had birthed my son, my mothers fed me, then brought him to me. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever held. Tiny, red lips, a long, tiny nose, and large sleeping eyes under thin, copper-red eyebrows. His hair was auburn against his maple candy colored skin. I stroked it gently and rubbed his chubby cheeks as he suckled in his sleep. Jay and Anne had had their baby months before me, so Anne breastfed for mine while I was asleep. As Ina and humans differed in most aspects, however, my son needed my milk for complete sustenance. My mother-Shori guided me on breastfeeding him, and he took my breast easily, hungrily.
My mothers left me to be with him, and when he finished feeding, I called Aidan. We had already discussed names, so when he answered, I said, “Damien Ciaran Sullivan.”
He chuckled and sighed. “A boy.”
“A boy. He’s beautiful. He has your hair.” I smiled as he laughed and cheered. “Go to your computer. I’ll meet you there.”
“Be careful, little mate.”
I hung up, then gently placed Damien down. He opened his nickel-gray eyes but lay there contentedly while I climbed out of bed. My back, bottom, and legs were still sore, but I crossed the room slowly, took my laptop from my desk, and returned to bed. I turned it on and met Aidan on the video phone system. His smile brightened his face as I lifted our son for him to see.
“He is beautiful.”
“He will get a couple of shades darker, I think. My brother Nicky was this coloring when he was born.”
“His eyes will get darker, too. My sisters’ eyes all looked like that. Ciaran’s too.” His smile saddened a little, but then widened. “I imagine you and I will make even prettier children, just a little.”
I smiled at that. “Damien, do you recognize your father’s voice?” He responded with a small burp, and we laughed.
“I recognize that attitude, certainly. I will fly in tomorrow night. Get some rest now. I love you, Ruby.”
“I love you, too…Call your fathers.”
Aidan nodded. “I will do that now.”
We closed the channel, and I moved the laptop to lay Damien down. Then, I rested on my elbow and watched him. Of course, he didn’t do much but look around, smile at me when I stroked his belly. As he fell asleep, I kissed his hair and whispered into his ear before I fell asleep myself, “You are Ina. You are the future.”