Summary: Marie feels fear after the birth of her son, Joseph. Can she hold him forever?
Word Count: 764
Marie pushed, and then she heard a cry. Was the baby all right?
“Congratulations, you have a son,” the doctor said.
A son! Marie remembered her first son who had died about five years ago right after he was born. She had heard him cry, and then he was gone. She never even got to see his face.
“Let me see him.” Marie reached out her arms.
“I need to wash him first.”
“Please I want to see my son!”
“Just a moment, Mrs. Cartwright.”
A few minutes later the doctor placed a small bundle wrapped in a red baby blanket into her arms. She gazed at her baby son’s face and smiled. His body felt small and fragile. Sweet little Joseph. She and Ben had already agreed if the baby was a boy his name would be Joseph Francis.
“You have a very healthy little boy.”
Marie felt sadness that he would never know his brother who had died. At least he had his brothers Adam and Hoss to grow up with. Marie also felt fear. What if she lost this baby too? She held him close to her. Maybe she would be the only one to hold him so that she could keep him safe. She would always watch over him closely.
She noticed the doctor leave the bedroom and return with Ben. Her dear husband had such a proud smile on his face as he sat down on the bed beside her.
“Hello, Joseph.” Ben gazed into the baby’s face. “Welcome to this world. You have two parents who love you very much, and two older brothers who are waiting excitedly downstairs to see you.”
And there was another brother who was watching from Heaven. Sweet little Joseph was such a tiny baby. She continued to hold him close to her.
“May I hold him?” Ben asked.
Marie carefully answered, “No I want to keep holding him.”
She saw disappointment in his dark eyes.
“I’m sorry. I keep remembering my first son. I didn’t even get to touch him. Right now I just want to continue holding little Joseph.”
“All right. I’m going to bring the boys up to see him.”
The baby made a soft cooing sound as Marie watched Ben leave, and then return with 12-year-old Adam and 6-year-old Hoss. Both boys smiled when they looked into their baby brother’s face.
“When will he be big enough to play with us?” Hoss asked.
Adam replied, “It’s going to be awhile. He’s only a baby.”
Ben said, “I’m sure in a couple of years he’ll be running around with you two.”
Marie thought about Joseph someday being old enough to follow his brothers about as they did chores and other things. Right now he was just a little baby she held close in her arms. If only he could stay there.
A little while later Marie was alone in the bedroom while she sat in the rocking chair with the baby still in her arms. She had fed him, and now he was fast asleep. Hop Sing came and quietly changed the bedding. She sensed he was aware of the fear she had of losing another baby.
Hop Sing stood in the middle of the room with dirty blankets in his arms. “Mrs. Cartwright afraid. Not good.”
“I just feel very protective of him. You don’t know what it’s like to lose a baby.”
“My mother lost first baby. A boy.”
“She did? I’m so sorry.”
Marie knew little about his family. She knew his father was here in Virginia City, and he had relatives who lived San Francisco as well as back in China. Only a couple of times she had heard him mention something about brothers and sisters.
“Then second baby born,” Hop Sing continued. “My oldest sister. My mother always hold baby. No one else hold her.”
His mother went through the same thing. She also knew the pain and the fear.
“One day someone tell her someday baby be too big to hold.”
It was true. Someday little Joseph would be too big to hold. He would eventually be old enough to follow his big brothers around. The time would eventually come when he would be old enough to help his father and brothers with the running of the ranch. Marie realized she had been selfish for not letting Ben hold his own son. Adam and Hoss probably wanted to hold him too. All right of course they all could. She knew she would always be watching over him.
Written for the Mother’s Day Writing Challenge 2021
Other Stories by this Author
- Family Treasures (by Sierras)
- Eagle’s Nest (by Sierras)
- Sunrise (by Sierras)
- Wishes (by Sierras)
- Never Under a Pale Moon (by Sierras)