I am born. The doctor shakes me gently, the nurse clears the goop from my nose and mouth. I laugh instead of cry. The doctors and nurses are amazed, worried even. They exchange looks. Is that normal? my mother asks when she has found her breath and voice again; I had been a long labor.
It’s not usual, they say, as if this is somehow the more gentle answer.
It’s not usual, she repeats.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not normal, they say.
Actually, my mother says, I think that’s exactly what it means.
And meanwhile I am laughing and laughing until my round head is the color of the morning sun and giant tears swell and spill from each eye.