Here’s another story from Changing Every Day. When you finish reading, take the quiz to test your understanding!:
I Got a Job
Pei Ci Kuang
A cry declares that a small life came into this world. It is a symbol of life, vitality, health, and meaning. A newborn child’s wail is the world’s best sound!
I will never forget this day, December 23, 2006. The doctor told me: “You have a baby, almost one month.” I couldn’t believe my body was pregnant with a little life. I felt the magic of life. This was our love crystal! I would be a mother . . . I would be a mother. My husband and I and our entire family were looking forward to this little life.
December 31, 2006. We first met at Sinog Medical Associate P.C. Clinic. The doctor told me your weight was 0.2 micrograms, length 1.0502 millimeter, body in two parts, a very large part the head. There was a long tail, much like the shape of a small hippocampus. The doctor said you were “a little gem.” But I didn’t see what the doctor said. I just saw a little dot on the screen of the machine. I said “Hello” to you. “I hope you love me and are satisfied by me!”
I read stories to you. I played music for you. We adapted to each other’s rhythms by three months. Your length was four centimeters. You had a first picture. The sound of a beating heart to give you a life force.
We recognized you at five months. The doctor told me that you are a girl. Since then, I didn’t call you baby; I called you beautiful girl. I imagined helping you tie a ponytail; I fantasized that I could help you dress up; I could help you sign up for dancing class.
Six months, seven months, eight months . . . we were like old friends. We felt empathy for and collaboration with each other. I knew what time you wanted to eat strawberries, what time you wanted to eat chicken, and you also understood what time I was happy, what time I was unhappy.
When 35 weeks came, you had full hearing and sight. You reacted to the sound of the outside world, and you could like it or be able to demonstrate the expression of boredom. We had a good interaction. My body changed every day. I looked like I was carrying a big ball, like a penguin walking on the street. You were quiet now. You were preparing to come out into this world.
On July 9, 2007, you, my daughter, were born. A cry filled every corner of the hospital, like a melody for a parent, for a family. It stirred up memories of a day blessed by miracles, a joyful gift cherished for years to come. Thank you, my dear daughter, for giving me this job! I know I will have a lot of “first times” in my future!