Excerpt from my novel. Setting, 1951.
Jimmy was a week old when Maureen had her first day alone with him.
She settled in with him, positioning her arms in the rocker, a pillow supporting the little fellow. This morning, before Phil left for work, she made up a batch of bottles, mixing and stirring and pouring a days supply of ecru colored stuff that made her nostrils pinch when she smelled it. She warmed the bottle in a pan, squirted a little on her wrist to test the temperature and gathered up her hungry son.
She held him, squirming, crying, until he caught hold of the rubber nipple and settled into a rhythmic gulping. Soon, he was satisfied. Not quite ready to give up the bottle, but soothed enough to study his mother’s face.
He held her pinky with his tiny fingers. Strong. What a wonder. Someone so little can grab on so tight. His lashes were drying from his hungry cries, fanned out like a star. He was content now. With her free hand she stroked his cheek, velvet against her finger.
Mother and son were all there was to the world. The two of them, bound, caught up in larger arms, graced in a haze of violet light.
Something opened in Maureen. Where, she could not say, but somewhere in her body, in her soul; a movement, an enlargement. The only way to find this place was this, holding her tiny child in her arms, letting him break her heart.
The intensity, the consuming protective passion for this child, almost annihilated her in its fierceness. It could not be possible for her to love anything or anyone else the way she loves this child. No one’s heart could be that big.