My little girl was weighed today in a sling held by a hook on an electric scale.

She’s putting on weight, the breastfeeding and engorgement is painful (for Melka), but we have no complaints. This little K is in rude health, continuing her habit of growing. We are so glad.

But I still feel like I’m renting this baby. Like when I’d get an NES game from the video store in 1987… and lose sleep while I crammed to get to the end. Up all night, thinking of nothing but the game, trying not to think about how it will have to go back to the stupid store before I win it.

Oddly, maybe objectionably, I feel the same about my little girl.

Last night, Melka and I sat up and talked about Malina. About what she looked like, about whether she would have been as beautiful as our little K. It was not an easy conversation… our delightful little girl K – in the right frame of mind and lighting and time of night – can bring Malina’s decomposing face up in a way that I find . . . hard. yeah, hard.

This little girl K is putting hooks into my heart and I don’t know if I like it. No, of course I do. I love this little one and I say it out loud. But sometimes I catch myself. It’s more than just “I Love You” songs that I sing to her. It’s steel hooks going through my heart… different hooks making different holes than the ones Malina hangs from. This love is painful, it grapples me to this little one with hoops of steel. And I’ve woken up convinced she’s dead on more than one occasion in the last five days. And I’ve checked her breathing three times since I sat down to write this.

And, the name. We don’t have to go into it here, but after imagining Malina for 9 months, grieving for the 16 months since she died… I have caught myself twice almost calling K by the name Malina.


The hook that I try to use as a literary device...

(The hook that I try to use as a literary device)