Every year at Christmas time, I take the opportunity to walk through the girls’ section of toys as well as women’s clothing. I love looking at dolls, princess crowns and cheerleaders stuff. I usually buy something for Toys for Tots. I sigh deeply as I wish I had gotten them when I was growing up. Yes, I walk through here other times of the year, but now it is okay if a guy lingers there, because people think he’s probably getting a gift for his or someone's girl. Be it a doll or other traditional girl toys. Now there are even dolls encouraging girls to be basketball players, figure skaters and a soccer player, even doctors as well as nurses. There are actually more softball gloves and bats than baseball stuff out this year.
I’ve ssince become a baseball coach, as most of my baseball playing is over. A classmate and old neighbor Emily Rice is now the softball coach as well as the freshmyn girls’ basketball coach. I get upset when she spells ‘freshmyn and womyn’ like that. She says “It is to remind people womyn and girls are special in their own right not because that one wiggly worm didn't fall away.”
Unfortunately she just showed up as a shopper in the girls’ toy section. She asks, “So what girl are you shopping for this Christmas?”
I tell her, “Our church has a Christmas Angel program and I thought I would get some girl a toy and maybe even a dress or a coat and some mittens.”
Someone behind me agrees when Emily says, “You know, except for special occasions, girls don’t usually wear dresses. I remember times you use to get upset with me because I wore jeans to school when it got colder… Remember, I told you if you were a girl you would do the same thing. And you told me a girl should enjoy looking pretty. Well I haven’t seen you wearing a skirt or dress yet”
Emily and I use to be close friends up through eighth grade. She really doesn’t understand, why I changed in high school. She didn’t understand how much I needed to prove I was a man like the rest of the guys. Actually come freshman basketball and baseball I actually needed to out man the bigger guys. I didn't like it or agree, but something happened.
John Howard was my coach for both, baseball and basketball. He had been my Junior High history teacher. He didn’t really like me much then in seventh and eighth grade. He would say out loud, that he thought Stan Riley and I spent too much time socializing with the girls. “Stan, you’re too big to be a panty waist.” “David playing with Emily and her friends makes them better and you worse.”
Because my neighborhood had mostly girls, I became use to playing softball or basketball with a girl's regulation basketball. It actually helped in playing baseball, but there was no explaining that to Mr. Howard or the guys who followed the coach's lead and teased me. They thought, it helped in the coach's eye for them to hassle me.
During high school I was and still play second or third base when we were playing tougher teams. Throwing a softball was actually good in developing my arm. I am not the biggest guy; especially not as big as the other guy trying to play second base. Coach Howard preferred Martin Roberts but the truth was I was a better fielder and a better hitter than Marty. Yes, he could hit a homerun, but it wasn’t likely. He might be able to jump reach higher for a ball hit over his head, but he usually didn’t catch it. He was more awkward with his footing. But I wouldn't tease him, though I was sorely tempted.
Handling a basketball, it was easier to handle the girls’ basketball when I was small. I always played enough boys’ basketball that I developed a good eye for shooting. Rich and Mike two of the taller classmates used the girls’ basketball for dunking, but, no one gave them any trouble about it except the girls’ coach. And she didn’t count.
I think Coach Howard tormented me to try and get me to quit the team; instead I got tougher. On the surface he succeeded but part of me never changed; it just got shoved down inside. But as it got stuffed down, I became colder with others, especially with Emily.
~ ~ O ~ ~
What I wouldn’t tell Emily and couldn’t tell Coach was part of me was and is a girl. It is not just that I like girls or want to be like a girl, I am a girl. I kind of like being a guy. But deep inside I am Davida as they use to tease me.
‘The funny thing is Davida Lynn Jones was the name on my original birth certificate. When asked by a nurse for my name after I was born, my Dad stuttered through David (Ah) len Jones when I was born. The nurse who recorded my name wasn’t one of my nurses in the delivery room, who knew I was a boy. Unfortunately she was the one who actually recorded my name it as Davida Lynn Jones on my birth certificate. No one caught the mistake. It was my baptism certificate that Mom hung at the house after I was born. She told me she knew about the mistake but had never gotten around to having it corrected.
It never caused a problem until we moved in third grade. The new school called Mom, “You do know David's name on his birth certificate was different from how he was originally registered in his old school? It shows his official name is really Davida Lynn Jones and we need to go by that unless you have another the birth certificate that says otherwise?"
She told my Mom, "I suspect you had it officially changed, but we would need that document to change his name on our records. When was he renamed David Allen Jones?” The school officials were actually sensitive and not trying to cause trouble. My parents did eventually get it changed. Unfortunately it was two years later. And many who since heard the story had to share it with someone else. I became the butt of a lot joking. My small stature did not help me. I am sure Mr. Howard came to know of the story.
Back to Christmas shopping, I walked around the mall before I went to look at women’s clothing. Christmas is one of the times I feel comfortable indulging myself with a gift. Again I walk through the girl's toys and I am now walking through the girl's clothes on my way to the women’s section to find a feminine looking dress.
I have actually been dieting to get down to the weight when I was in high school. It’s a good girl weight for me, and as good as I’m going to get. One hundred and thirty-five pounds like I weighed in eleventh grade. On my way, I notice outfits for girls to dress like little princesses and others like Brittany Spears. Then a woman next to me says “Demi Lavito, can you believe that my young girl wants to be her? Here is a pretty outfit for a girl; I bet, your little girl can’t be older than four.”
She hands me this pretty dress and walks away. When I try to put it back on the rack I hear a young girl say, “Buy me, try me.” I look around, sure that I am hearing someone else. There are numerous people shopping but no one that close. Again I seek to hang it back on the rack, “Just try me, you know you want to.”
I force myself to put it on the rack, muttering: “It wouldn’t fit." I can’t believe I am saying this.
“You don’t know that, you do know you always wanted to.” I feel light headed and just want this non-sense over so I take a dress but I get the size three; to make sure it won’t fit.
Another woman says, “If you are getting that for a special little girl you should get her some white tights to go with it.” I'm sure the woman is trying to be helpful. This woman takes me by the hand and pulls me over to another section. “I am sorry, I am Brittany Moffit, and you look scared to be here. I hope if you have a little girl for this dress, and you won't mind if I would help you out. I picked out two packages of tights one white and one pink. I agree with the other woman they would be nice on the little girl
She says, “Oh and there is also a toy doll toy with this dress from when Demi was on Barney and Friends." Se takes me by the hand to show me where the doll is. "Look she has the same dress. Wouldn’t that be darling for a girl to get both?” She sees me blushing. “That is alright, you are just a very sensitive young man. Is it for a daughter... A niece so you’re probably an uncle. You can keep one at your place for when she visits.”
“That’s a good idea,” I reply.
“She hands me two more outfits for the doll. “She will like to dress her and it is usually a hassle to find the right clothes when she and her mother come back looking for more doll clothing.”
I ask, “Do you think she will mind if I get an extra doll for a Christmas angel program?” Brittany takes out forty dollars and asks “Would you buy another doll that I will pay for? You can give them both to Toys for Tots. You don’t even have to wrap them.”
I bought the two extra dolls for gifts through the school’s toy collection program and dropped them off on my way home.
Once I got home I’m exhausted and decide to take a shower to freshen up to get awake again. I am to be over over to my parents at 6:00 p.m. because distant relatives are here to visit. The shower feels good and though I’m tired I decide to indulge as Davida by shaving my legs and underarms. I even took a mirror into the shower and thin out my eyebrows. The shaving gel has a pretty scent; the canister says ‘Oil of Olay’.
After the shower, I flop into bed and drift to sleep having a weird dream. The dress is again calling me from the closet. “Try me, try me! You know you want too.” Here I am talking back to a dress that can’t be talking to me.
“It is way too small, you know I won’t fit?”
The girl’s voice is nice but firm, “It will, all you have to do is to want me. I know you do; I think you are still that same scared little boy. You want to be a girl and now you’re afraid. Just try, you won’t be hurt, I promise you.”
I say it with an attitude, “My hand would hardly fit into the sleeve.”
“Just put your hand in one and see what happens.” I do it and strangely there is the small hand of a little girl poking out on the other side and then my arm continues through becoming her arm.
Hurriedly, I pull my arm back out and then begin again by stepping into the dress and pulling it down over my body. This time I fit both hands through the sleeves and somehow button up the dress in be back. I go to put on the white tights but find a pair of panties to put on first. They are really thick like they are for a small baby. They even have three strips of lace work over the back of the panty. Now I wish I’d have a pair of shoes to fit. I look to the box with the doll and see it has been knocked over, and there beside it is a pair of the doll’s shoes. Finally I look in the mirror and see that I am a cute little three month old girl.
I hear some rustling in the bed and realize it is me; I am still in bed dreaming. I like the idea of seeing the dream through because I don’t usually remember them when I wake up. It is funny to be walking around the size of a three year old girl or is it a three month old girl.
I'm thinking, ‘So, if I would be a little baby, who do I want as my mommy? That’s simple my older sister Caroline; but I don’t want Sammy and Max as brothers. Emily, she would be both fun and a great choice? If she hadn’t been a neighbor and close friend, I would have dated her. That is if she would have agreed.’
Emily lives next door to her parents because her Aunt Marilyn said she could buy Grandma Rice’s house.
‘But how would I get that to happen? David is going over Mom’s, I could hide in his car and then situate myself on her front porch and knock on her door. Then I could lay in a blanket on her porch, with the note on the blanket like an abandoned baby. People could search but there are no parents to find. I’m sure if Emily answers her door she’ll take me inside. Hopefully, she would keep me instead of handing me over to the police or a social worker.’
‘I should make a note encouraging her to take care of me.’
I sneak to the car and crawl in the back seat searching for something to help with my plan. I smell some oranges; there are a only a few left in a box that I bought from the FHA club. It takes two trips with this little body to throw those away. “Brr… it's cold.” I want to go back into the house. I am ready to open the door to the house when I hear me, big David, moving around inside.
David is talking to Mom, “I will be there in about fifteen minutes” He will be out to the car within five minutes. I pull a ribbon from a trash bag along with a piece of yesterday’s newspaper to write the note. I use a marker in the car between the two front seats. The adult me, uses them as a coach. “Emilia please take good care of baby …Vida.” I don’t know anyone who would call her ‘Emilia’ but I know they won’t think of David, me.
I carry the note, blanket, and ribbons in the box three houses down to Emily’s house. She lives in her Grandma’s house next to her folks house.
It is starting to snow, so I will to wait before I knock so the snow won’t show any footprints coming or going to the house. Snuggled in the blanket, I am lying next to the door when I hear a car drive up. I am afraid to look but by the headlights I know the car drove into her driveway. Whoever it is knocks and enters by the side door. Now I need to wait a little longer but it is getting cold.
I wish I would wake up from this dream and yet I so want to see what Emily will do. I’ve always wanted to be in her arms even though it was not as a baby, he he.
Someone is opening the door, a woman is saying, “I tell you I saw something on your porch.” Emily tries to open the storm door but sees me there in front of it. “Awe, Sheila there’s a baby out there. I’m going around please open the door after I pick the baby up.” It is but another minute and Emily is out and around the house. It feels good to be in her arms as the door opens and she carries me inside to where it is warm.
“O Sheila, she’s beautiful, look at those precious little fingers and those pouting lips.” Sheila takes the note as they take me over to a new easy glide rocker.
“Emily look whoever left her kind of knows you and wants you to take care of her baby. ‘Vida’ is her baby’s name. It’s a pretty name, but I’ve never heard of anyone with that name have you?”
I am looking up at Emily and I see my little baby hands reaching for her face. I hear a cooing sound. I know that I am making the noise, but it sounds like a real baby. I am expecting Emily to say something about my dress and to put me down so I can walk. Then without notice my body is leaking; I'm wetting my diaper. “O no, she’s wetting her diaper. Get out of my way Sheila”. She runs carrying me to the counter in a bathroom. “Sheila, please check and see if there were any diapers or things left out on the porch.”
I am sure there isn’t and I'm surprised when Sheila carries a diaper bag into the bathroom. “It looks like there are three diapers, a pacifier and one more baby outfit.”
I think, ‘But there can’t be; this dream is getting weird.'
“Sheila, call over to Elizabeth Jones and see if she has time to come over so I can talk to her. Just tell her that her daughter Emily has need of her expertise. I know she will come if she can.”
While Sheila calls over to the Jones, Emily stays with me.
She says, “Well Vida, I am happy to meet you. O look, how beautiful you are.” She is wiping my cheeks and being very gentle.
She's again talking to Sheila, “I am glad she’s not a baby boy… Shelia please check the cupboard in my bathroom; I just bought some baby powder. ” Emily puts her face down near to mine and I try to grab her hair. Emily is pretty, very pretty but she’s different to me tonight.
“Sheila, where’s the baby powder?” Sheila walks into the room giving Emily the baby powder. Sheila is standing a little behind Emily, looking over her shoulder to see me and her arms are around Emily like they are very, very good friends. I must be smiling as they are both smiling at me.
Emily calls out to someone and now that person is entering the room. “Oouu, she’s real cute.”
Emily says, “I suspect her Mom must have been so overwhelmed to feel the need to give her up.”
Sheila says to my mom. “Someone left her on Emily’s porch.”
Emily asks, “Momma Jones could you check Vida for me? I want to make sure she is alright, but I don’t want her to be carried off by a social worker or the police. I feel I should do something to make sure she’s loved. She’s just too precious to hand over to someone else, especially at Christmas time. I know it’s crazy but in my heart she is already attached to me.”
It’s Mom, and she has her stethoscope; she’s been asked here as a nurse. Mom holds it to make it warm. She listens here and there, Mom’s cooing to me. Mom says, “She looks a little like… never mind.” I hear Emily giggle saying “Go ahead and tell us.”
“She looks like a pretty little David.”
Sheila jokes, “You might want to check and make sure you don’t have a granddaughter?”
Mom picks me up and cradles me in her arms and carries me out to the living area. “I think she could use a bottle. You could use a little water, but she will need something yet tonight. I have a baby seat in my car and you can use it to take her and get what you need... I would go for you, if I didn’t have a house full of family.”
"When you come back, stop at the house with the car seat. I don't expect David to still be there. Even if he is he won't bite."
Emily smiles as she says, “But David does growl under his breath.” Sheila speaks, “It’s fine with me, but I think he’s afraid for some reason to tell Emily how much he likes her.”
Mom looks to Emily, “Emily and I have talked and we agree he’s afraid of something a little more than that.” Sheila looks to Emily to say more, but Emily resists.
She and Mom don’t want to say more, but Mom says, “It’s my fault for bringing it up, I’m sorry.” Mom pauses, “You might as well know because she’ll possibly show up here when she finally admits it.”
~ ~ O ~ ~
“A friend of David’s, who are you talking about,” asks Sheila?
Emily, “Sheila, you have to promise not to tell anyone; you know David was one of my best friends and I still hold him as special.”
Mom says, “He’s a crossdresser and possibly more than that but he’s still in denial. And won’t tell anyone, supposedly even I don’t know.”
‘What did my Mom say; and Emily knows,’ I want to speak up but I’m crying like a baby instead. Emily is up and takes me in her arms and is walking me around to settle me down. It works, but as Emily sits down with me. I want to say, ‘Please Mom don’t say anything more, I can’t defend myself.’
“Emily, I don’t mean to embarrass you. Seemingly you aren’t wearing a bra. This is a funny idea but if you are serious about trying to keep her and to take care of her like the note asks. You might want to try and have her nurse from you. It would probably take a number of times and well over a day before and if some milk comes in but it is possible. I know, you two would be very good parents.”
Emily stands up and is walking away with me. Mom says, “I’m sorry Emily that was foolish for me to say.” Emily gives me to Sheila for a moment but Sheila hands me right back. But now Emily doesn’t have her sweater on. She sits down and brings my cheek up next to her breast. My head turns and I’m searching for a nipple. I soon find it and have this nipple that I am sucking on it in my mouth. They talk for a few minutes before Mom suggests she nurse me on the other nipple.
Emily is shaking a little and her breast is getting hot. “I can’t believe this but this is a bit of a turn on having her on my breasts.”
Mom says, “You aren’t the first one to experience that Emily,” I can’t believe I’m hearing my Mom and Emily talking like this.
Mom suggests, “If you want I could take your little girl to my house so you two could go shopping. When you get back you could come over and get her. Most of our guests will probably be gone by the time you got back.”
“That would be great, but could you quickly write a list of what we should buy?” I didn’t hear any answers but Mom’s holding me in one hand and writing somethings.
Sheila and Emily both give me a kiss and then I am bundled back in the blanket with my face covered. I know I am outside because it is a lot colder.
Mom then sets me down and my blanket is pulled back; I am in my mom's house. ‘O I’m in Grandma Jones’ arms. I’m embarrassed and afraid she will see my resemblance and recognize me. O not again, I’m peeing in my diaper. I hope that doesn’t happen every time I come in from the cold. Grandma realizes what I did.’
“Grandma, I will be happy to change her. I got her diaper and stuff,” Cousin Adrian says. We didn’t go to the bathroom so why are all the women coming to see me get changed. “O no, look at her face turn red, I think she’s pooping in her diaper.” ‘This is really embarrassing and I can’t even control it.’
“I think she’s done messing her diaper.”
“Megan please let me use your baby wipes.”
I don’t know why I am wiggling my legs, but Adrian is happy. “Oh look at this pretty little dress in the bag. She’s going to look darling in this.”
I can smell food as Adrian carries me back into the dining room. ‘Mom is serving a sit down meal. That is so lame, families don’t do that anymore, ‘Just order pizzas or something.’ I can smell chicken and I bet Mom has made mash potatoes and gravy. I sure hope someone will hold me and give me a taste of potatoes and gravy that would taste good.
Adrian has me again and we’re at the table. I can taste the food already. “Adrian, please don’t try giving her any food.”
‘Who said that? Why doesn’t she mind her own business?’ “Aunt Beth, she’s grabbing at my blouse; I think she wants something.”
“Luckily she’s not a boy or they would say it’s sexist,” that’s my Uncle Tim.
Adrian retorts back, “No Uncle Tim, I think that is reserved for you. And even if the baby is not offended I am.”
“Touché there, nicely done Adrian,” David speaks up.
It’s later and they’re having pie when the doorbell rings. Mom’s already half way there and Emily is already letting herself in. “Mrs. Jones, you have to see some of the things we got for Vida.” Two young girls leave the table, offering their spots to Emily and Sheila. Emily comes first to Adrian and thanks her for holding me, “Thank you, she looks very comfortable with you.”
“Aw look Emily she is already reaching for you.” Shelia takes something to the kitchen. Emily sits in one of the chairs, cradling Vida in her arms while pulling out a new baby blanket. “David would you do me a favor and get the new baby carrier; it is the new one all the way in the back of my car, thank you.”
Sheila is back with a bottle and a little pink bib. It is a small bottle and the top feels like a soft nipple to my cheek and I turn and open my mouth. My urge to start sucking seems all instinct; all my baby responses are now natural. More of the adult conversation is becoming noise to me. I am thirsty but I am also tired. I am falling asleep as I drink from the bottle.
I am being lowered into a baby seat by two strong hands and it begins to rock as I fall back to sleep. “Thanks Mrs. Jones for helping me, it is nice to have you to call on. I am so glad my parents aren’t home tonight. I would not hear the end of calling you first. It wouldn’t matter that Mom’s not a nurse.”
“Talking with you is real helpful and I will appreciate if you can come over tomorrow before I call the authorities. I will appreciate it, if you and Mr. Jones would vouch for me and Sheila, along with my parents that would be a great help.”
Mom says, “Well, I haven’t been your mother quite as long as your own mother but you are like a second daughter. I worry about little Vida's Mom but at least she chose you well. Vida deserves to be in a warm home like yours. And as I said, ‘You and Sheila will be very good for her.’”
~ ~ O ~ ~
I wake as we are home at Emily’s. I’m in Emily’s arms and I feel warm water all around me. I think we’re in the bath tub and she is holding me on her lap. There is a soapy sponge dripping water over me, but she’s careful not to get it in my eyes or mouth.
I wonder why I am not waking up from this dream. The thought has come to me that just maybe this isn’t a dream. But it can’t be, I am sure I heard and saw the big me.
Sheila must be here because Emily is talking to someone in addition to me. I think she is using the sponge to wash Emily as I can feel water running between my body and hers. I know Emily is enjoying the attention she is getting. Emily is holding me up to her shoulder. Sheila is giving me kisses and I am laughing each time she does.
I don’t mean to be pulling Emily’s hair but my fingers are wrapped in her hair. Now Emily is leaning back and she is offering to nurse me again. Her breasts are wet so it even feels like I am nursing. The warm water, her warm wet breast and me sucking on her is like heaven. I close my eyes and it is like heaven.
I’m not sure about the time, but I am sure we are out of the bath as Emily is patting me dry. I think I am on her bed with two pillows around me. Oops the pillows are moving, O good Emily is next to me, even better Sheila is on the other side. I didn't think of getting two mommies but I think I could enjoy this.
I wake at three thirty in the morning and Emily comes, picks me up carries me back to bed; adjusting her gown, I am again trying to nurse from her breast. She is singing to me, it is a little stronger than a whisper. I know my eyes are struggling to stay open though my hands have found her soft, warm breasts. “Vida,” she whispers, “O precious little baby, I love you. O God, I know it is strange; I am not a strong believer but Vida needs a home and Sheila and I have not only opened our door but our hearts. Please grant my heart’s request and let her become our little girl…”
Suddenly my sucking is stopped and I am up near her shoulder and she's patting me ever so gently. 'Oops I didn't mean to burp. I am given another nipple that Emily is holding in her hand and its milk is warm. Sheila and Emily are both singing now and taking turns stroking my hair, touching my ears or nose.
Sheila gets up and takes me in her arms as she checks my diaper. She walks and pats me till I burp. "A dainty little girl should not make that noise."
Changed and clean, I am back in bed with them for a little while but come morning I wake up in the bassinet. Sheila cooks breakfast, “Emily if you're hoping to nurse her you need to eat more than what you do, especially in the morning.”
After breakfast, Emily discards her nightgown and takes me in her arms and is looking down. She hands me to Sheila and pronounces me to be eleven pounds seven ounces. “Sheila, write down that she’s able to hold her head up, can fix her gaze and seems to respond to sounds. She even responds to her name Vida... I think it was around six ten last night when we found her in her blanket and the box on the front porch.”
Sheila and Emily, one or the other is constantly holding me like they are girls with a new baby doll. A doorbell rings but before anyone answers the person is in the house. “O Mom, you’re home and up already; I was going to call you. We've had a little visitor come to our house last night; isn't she a darling?”
“Emily, she is very cute, but you shouldn't tease me that way; you know I want to be a grandmother. Whose is she?” Needless to say there is a lot of discussion, including showing the box, blanket and note. Explaining all the new stuff also proves to be very interesting. I am not sure her mother is yet a believer of the story.
Someone called Beth and with the assembly of four wise women preparations for calling the police unfurls. Officers Nick Dempsey and Susan Hope are requested to come to the house. Dempsey’s an old classmate and friend to the family. Susan, a friend to the family, is a bit older and has probably been on the police force a dozen years recently promoted to being a Lieutenant.
Susan asks Emily to go with her into another room; Emily’s bedroom is chosen. My mom comes with them; “Mrs. Henderson please stay here with Sheila Reed and Officer Dempsey.”
“Emily, I've heard your story at least twice now; and while I want to believe you. I need to tell you, while the box, blanket, diaper bag and note make a compelling story. Your blouse and bra appear to show signs of a young woman nursing her baby.” Emily is unsettled. “That indicates Vida has probably been here a longer time and is probably yours.” Emily looks down and sees her good blouse starting to show milk seeping through her bra and onto the blouse.
Emily sits down on her bed and begins to cry, “I’m telling the truth; I only tried to nurse her because I want so much to care for Vida as the note asks. Mrs. Jones is a nurse and she said if I tried nursing my milk might come in a few days.” Officer Hope looks to Mrs. Jones and gets confirmation.
Mom says, “Yes, I suggested it last night when Emily called me over after she found the baby and I checked the baby out to make sure the baby is healthy. I’ve known Emily since grade school; if she tells me something I am standing with her. She wouldn’t lie to me.”
Officer Susan asks, “Did Emily call you over because you’re a nurse or because you’re David’s mother and they have been very close friends?” Mom and Emily both give Officer Hope a stare, upset with the possible implication. “I’m sorry if I offend you but it is better I than someone else asking the hard questions.”
Emily apologizes and says “No, I know I need your help, as I want to be able to keep her.”
Susan is firm but open, “Well if she is your baby that would be easy enough. If it isn’t your baby and she was left here the note might help you but there are no guarantees… I would like to ask you, Sheila and David Jones to volunteer to take blood tests along with Baby Vida. Would you be willing to do that? I will tell you, you may want to check with a lawyer or discuss it with your parents before you answer.”
Emily says, “I can’t speak for David, but I know I would and I’m pretty sure Sheila will. We have nothing we are afraid of.” Susan relaxes and smiles with the likely cooperation. My Mom is already calling David to see if he will cooperate. “Hello David… Yes, its Mom I need to ask if you would be willing to have a blood test.” She giggles, “It is to see if you could be the father of baby Vida... No, I am serious and it’s not a joke. But it could be helpful. Please meet us at the hospital close to 2:00 this afternoon.”
Vida starts crying and Emily checks my diaper. “She is wet and probably needs to be fed; I hope it is alright if I do so. I will ask Sheila to make up some formula.”
Susan answers, “You are welcome to nurse her as you will want to change before going to the hospital anyway.”
“Here Vida, Mommy will change you,” Emily looks up to Susan. “I didn’t mean I’m her mother.” Susan smiles and encourages her to relax. I need to suck harder, but now I am getting milk. I like it more than the bottle. Burping and everything is about done when my face contorts and I soil another diaper. Emily smiles, Ma Jones could you get me another sleeper for her. It is under her bassinet.”
Sheila and Emily get dressed and take me to the hospital with them. Mrs. Jones comes because she works there and knows the protocol to get things done quickly. She has also agreed to pay for all of the blood tests with the possibility of keeping them sealed, out of public record.
I’m the first to have blood drawn and then Sheila, Emily and David. Waiting for the results, we go to the hospital café where the others have coffee or tea. I’m usually held by Emily or Sheila but everyone even David and his Mom take turns to hold me. I am happy, I hope he can see that.
David whispers, “I had a dream.”
“What are you telling her David?” Emily asks. “Do you know who left her at my door?”
Everyone including Officer Hope, pauses in silence to hear his response: “No, offense but we haven’t been close friends since early in high school.”
A lab technician comes back in and hands Ma Jones a lab report.
Mom smiles, “Well Baby Vida is O+ as are Emily and David and Sheila is AB+, which means any of the three has not been ruled out as parents by this test.”
Dr. Helen Ramsey came to the nurse’s station and asks for Nurse Jones. Mom Jones introduces Dr. Ramsey, “I have asked Dr. Ramsey to examine Vida; hopefully that is alright with everyone.”
Dr. Ramsey asks, “Nurse Jones would you assist me, and who are the parents granting permission for the exam?”
Emily says, “Vida is my daughter.”
Dr. Ramsey says, “I thought I was told the mother is not here?”
Emily says with tears in her eyes and her voice, “I need to acknowledge she is my daughter so I can keep her and take care of her.”
Officer Hope says, “Dr. Ramsey, Vida was found on her porch last night and she feels responsible to take care of the baby. We are not sure whose baby she is.”
Emily speaks up, “No, she’s my baby and she was born August 31, at my home. I’ve promised not to reveal the father so I don’t want to say any more.” Sheila comes over to hug Emily and I am in between them.
Dr. Ramsey asks them, “Would you young women come into the exam room with us.” Officer Hope begins to speak up, “Officer, my authority out ranks you here, so I will ask that you wait here, until the exam is over.”
Dr. Ramsey examines Vida: recording her present weight at twelve pounds two ounces; height twenty-one and three quarter inches. Blood tests show she has O positive blood. She is being given the complete round of shots for a newborn. Patient was stated to be born at home on August 31, 2013. If you Sheila and if you Nurse Jones would attest to this with your signatures, I could request a birth certificate be issued.”
Ma Jones says, “Well I’m in for a penny might as well go for the full pound. Yes, I can attest to her birth.”
The doctors asks, “Are any of you going to tell me who the father is? …I thought not, so that remains unstated. I will have you Emily scheduled for a check-up with Vida in one month. By then I expect that your body will pretty much show little to no evidence of the birth save Vida and you nursing her.” She says, “I will ask the Officer to keep her file opened and I will be disheartened to find out that you have lied to me.”
When we return to the lounge where the others are waiting; news comes that David has confessed to be the father. Emily smiles and gives David a hug, “I thank you for the gesture David. But unless you are requesting a paternity test, I have to profess I am uncertain about who the father is.”
We are soon on our way home when the women make a turn for the mall where this all began two days ago. Emily needs a couple of nursing bras as well as a breast pump and extra bottles. Emily passes the display of dresses like Vida's.
A sales woman tells her, "The smallest those dresses come in, are for a three year old girl. There is a doll like that, but they've possibly been sold out by now."
Grandma Jones is more than happy to buy her Granddaughter two outfits now and plans for more to be under their Christmas tree.
Before bed Emily raises Vida in her arms, “O Vida you are so precious. I would just ask that in the morning when you wake up that you will be my daughter and the little girl you are meant to be. God, thank you and unless her Mom comes forward may all memories of the past be gone from Vida.”
“Ditto God, I will enjoy being a girl.” Come morning Vida is all girl, including no memories.
Postscript: It is December 28th, when Emily has another knock on her door and Emily along with Sheila open it together with Vida in her arms. A young woman their age greets them, Emily pauses seeing someone she vaguely recognizes. She can’t quite put a name to her. “Good evening I’m sure you didn’t expect to see me for a long while, if ever. You've known my name as David but I’ve always been Heather deep inside.”
Emily and Sheila open the door but they wonder about David coming into their home but do welcome him into the house. It takes a while for everyone to relax and open up. Heather is more relaxed and outgoing then David. Emily smiles and warmly says, “Heather you are very pretty; are you as happy as you appear to be?”
Heather smiles but there is a hint of a shadow still lurking. “Yes, I’m happy, real happy. I confess I’m a bit scared and don’t know what I actually want. But being Heather and coming here is a big step. Thank you for not closing the door on me. I apologize for closing you out in ninth grade but David was to afraid of me. He, I, needed to prove he was a man.”
She says, “It wasn’t until the day your little Vida showed up that I started to become free as well.”
Sheila asks, “‘As well’, does that mean you know more about Vida?”
She says, “Yes, but I am not sure you will believe me; the best evidence is in my car. I have is a doll I bought that day. The dress on the doll goes with the dress Vida had that night.” Heather gives the car keys to Sheila and waits for her to return with the doll.
“Heather/David you need to know Sheila is my love. I wish the best for you and hopefully someday we could be friends, but it won’t be more than friends.” Sheila brings in the Demi Lavito doll. It is easily recognizable, she’s wearing the same dress Vida came to Emily’s with.
Heather tells Emily and Sheila, David’s dream and how the little girl was him. “She was tired of me waiting; she finally wanted a life of her own. I thought she was just a dream and when I woke up to go to Mom’s I was sure the dream ended. That was until Mom brought Vida home while you went to the store. You seemed certain like I did that her Mom was never showing up.”
“I was afraid to tell my Mom or you because it is so crazy. But finally I have to tell you whether you believe me or not. I don’t want to be her father. I know you already have someone who loves you. I’ve always just wanted to be your friend. I hoped ever since fifth grade that you would teach me about being a girl.”
“I’m not sure if I want to transition all the way. I’m pretty sure until the end of the school year I will only be me on special occasions away from my place. Someday all my friends will know. From the dream, I know Vida decided between you and my sister Caroline, she was afraid of having two mean brothers.”
Heather says, “I think she did well in choosing you. I am so happy she became real. I know that is completely impossible but I also believe it’s true. You and Sheila are great mothers for her. My Mom tells me about her whenever Vida is over.
"I think like you, Mom is going to be surprised to see me as Heather. But I don’t plan to ever tell her or anyone else about Vida. I thought for some reason I owe it to tell you about Vida. I'm sure you and Sheila would understand or accept me as Heather.”
Emily turns Vida in her lap to face me, I am not sure if she is conscious of doing so. “Heather, as strange as your story sounds; it was a strange night, and a wonderful night for the three of us here. The most compelling part of what you say is seeing my friend David in your eyes. You are happy again and I am very glad for you. You have gone too long trying to be strong in a way that is not you.”
She says, “I can’t speak for Sheila, but being a lesbian doesn’t mean I understand you. LGBT might be lumped together by society. I don’t fully understand me and I am not sure what it is like to be transgender. I’m not sure if you see even yourself as a transgender person. Some dislike that term. If you decide you are transgender or whatever; I don’t know how one does that. I do very much agree with you having the right to find out who you are. If you ever needed a safe place I would help you find one.”
Sheila cuts in, “Heather, you are welcome to call and to stop over as a friend from time to time. I don’t know if you are interested in guys or women but just maybe we could introduce you to some friends. You look very pretty. If you ever want help in selecting clothes or some tips or makeup ideas, we are more likely to able to help you.”
Sheila turns to Emily, “You want to tell Heather? I think she should know before she goes to see her mother.”
“Heather, the only surprise is your name and that you finally came out and told us. Your mother also knows, she shared that around the time we found Vida. I think your mother will be very pleased to meet you, her youngest daughter.”
Emily smiles, “You know, we would like another baby or two someday and seemingly you make beautiful babies. Please speak to us before you lose your male parts if you would so decide and would be open to helping us. And if you don’t mind I will bring over a Christmas gift for you.”
Heather asks, “Would you mind if Vida could have this doll as a Christmas gift from me? There are even two extra outfits for her.
“Heather, one thing before you go, I would like to see you twirl. And congratulations, seemingly you like wearing skirts even when it gets cold.”
Have a Happy New Life!
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