Lucas Weismann

Another Winter Gone – 28

Jack was born a respectable 8 lbs 3 oz in the hospital at Saint Cloud. Marcus never knew whether the pregnancy itself was difficult, because Eva didn’t seem to complain about it. Reports from the midwife about her conduct in the during the birth were similar. Eva pushed and grunted like any other, but there was no screaming or crying from her, as if her determination to do the work ahead of her surpassed any little thing like the blinding pain of childbirth.
Marcus wouldn’t have thought less of his wife if she had reacted any way. From the little he’d seen growing up on the farm he was unsure he’d have volunteered for the job of birthing a baby.
When he was finally allowed to enter the room, he saw his wife, looked exhausted and happy and more beautiful than he remembered as she held their child. Eva beckoned Marcus over to her side.
“Marcus, I’d like you to meet Jack,” She said, “Jack, this is your daddy.”
Marcus looked at Eva, then at his son. “We have a boy?” he asked.
Eva nodded.
“Can I-“ he asked, indicating the baby.
“Of course,” she said. Handing Jack to his father.
The midwife, an ancient Germanic woman with a thick accent approached him and whispered something in his ear.
“No.” Marcus said.
“It is better for reasons of hygiene.” She said.
“We have soap.”
“Little who are not are prone to touching themselves.” She said with disgust in her eyes.
“Then we’ll teach him to behave in public.” Said Marcus.
“He may be teased by the other boys in school.”
“With any luck, yes. Look, I like the way God made him. If you don’t, take it up with God if you can find him.”
The midwife stepped back shocked.
“Marcus.” Said Eva.
His eyes seemed to glow as he turned to speak to the midwife.
“Thank you for your hard work. You’ve cut the cord and that’s quite enough butchery for one day. You will not lop any parts off my son. Take your things and I will have payment sent to you.”
“Mrs. Austmann-“ said the midwife.
“It’s Doctor Austmann. Jack’s father has spoken.” Said Eva. “More sharply than I would have liked, but he has spoken. And now I’d like both of you to leave for a bit so Jack and I can get some rest.”
Marcus seemed reluctant to stop holding the baby, but he knew it was right and so he gave Jack back to his mother. Then he accompanied the midwife down the stairs.
“I apologize if I seemed rude.” He said to the old woman as he opened the door. “I just don’t see any way to improve upon perfection. Good day.”
The old woman grunted and set off down the street. Marcus knew at that moment that he had no plans to let her or anyone else hurt his son. He decided that moment that he’d start preparing Jack of the world early. So he could get him in the best position to stand up for himself against the bullies and well-meaning petty tyrants of the world.

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