It’s time to introduce you to Gerald. Let me share his birth story.
Back in 2006, I was in labor with Baylee, my youngest. He is the fourth son so he should have popped right out, but he turned his head a little and became stuck in the birth canal, more specifically, under my pubic bone. (The kids don’t love that part of the story.)
Roger was in EMT class at the time, so my midwife allowed him to do most of the delivering. When the time came to push, Roger and I played tug-of-war with a sheet, him at the end of the bed, me, knees up trying so hard to push Baylee out.
After some time of pushing, the midwife was concerned because Baylee’s heartrate slowed. The room became quiet. Roger was always calm in the birthing rooms, no nerves, only excitement. This one time however, he hushed like the rest of us. The midwife turned Baylee’s little body around the smallest amount and there he was.
What a sweet little face he had all crunched up and pursed. He was my smallest baby weighing 7 pounds 15 ounces. (Tyler beat him by half an ounce.) I noticed on his face a slight, very faint bruise on his left cheek shaped like a sideways kiss. I showed the pediatrician and she said it was from being stuck in the birth canal and that it would go away in a couple days.
Well, Baylee is 15 now and his birthmark, or café ole, is a gorgeous brown color and still very much on his face. It’s always had tiny blonde hairs on it that he shaves occasionally. It’s never bothered him or anyone else, and he’s quick to explain what it is if he is asked.
His first day of soccer when he was three was the first time anyone said anything to him about it. All of the littles were sitting in a circle when I heard Baylee say, “It’s not a tattoo!” He said it plainly, then moved on with goofing around and giggling with the other tots.
Years passed and Baylee decided to name his birthmark, Gerald.
“Baylee, you know I love your birthmark but if it ever makes you feel comfortable, you may have it removed,” I’ve said to him a time or two.
“No way!” he would say, appalled. He even covered it with makeup one Halloween, then scrubbed the white paint off of the small area so it would be seen. It’s simply part of him.
I’ve always hoped he would never consider removing it. I really don’t think he ever will, and if he does, I will proudly display Gerald on a shelf in a glass jar and watch as he swims gracefully in formaldehyde. (Not kidding.)