Saturday, January 25, 2020

Thumb


The baby, they tell you, is the size of a thumb. Maybe even smaller. It's been nine weeks. The size of a thumb, and you've gained five pounds.

When you imagine what kind of a mother you'll be, what posture you'll take toward your child, you imagine the way you'd feel about your actual thumb, as if someone severed it from your hand and presented it to you. There would be something uncanny about holding your own thumb in your hand.
And you'd be missing the very thing that might've allowed you to properly inspect it, to hold it between thumb and forefinger like a cigarette, sniff it, roll it back and forth. It's such a small thing, your thumb, but it's a lot to give up when it comes to manual dexterity. You'd cradle this former part of you in your palm, careful to create a cup shape so as to prevent it from rolling off, you'd look at it and see its size differently, feel its weight differently. Actually, when it was part of you it had neither size nor weight.