Whenever he drew near, Madison clutched her baby to her chest. The child was the seed from her womb, but did not come from his loins, so he had no rights to it. It was all hers. He could not understand the love she had for her baby. He did not mourn with her during her season of barrenness; he was not there when she labored and travailed.
Still, he instructed her like a master about nursing and nourishing the infant, and rebelliously she closed her ears. But her husband, Steven, was not an unwise man. In fact, he was knowledgeable about a great number of things and he spun straw into gold. His many projects and ventures, he called his babies, all excelled.
But this was her first child and she endeavored to rear it on her own. His children needed only their father; her child needed only its mother. Steven was used to controlling things, a natural leader and born conqueror, and Madison was accustomed to letting him, a natural submissive and born lamb.
But this child awakened in her a boldness and a strength she didn’t know she had. Her proprietorial obsession with it stunned both her and her husband. Though she started unsteady and clumsy, her legs grew stronger, her back straighter. Chin raised, she now possessed the gait of a queen, and when Steven challenged her, she defiantly held his gaze.
Madison thought standing up to her husband would offend him since he had a tendency to arrest defiance with aggression, but he did not pound on his chest and demand her obedience. His steely eyes, betraying his shock, bore into her, then he tilted his head ever so slightly regarding her curiously.
Steven started bringing home little trinkets for her. A figurine of a bird in flight, a personalized coffee mug, scented candles— items he’d never taken the time to shop for. His touches gentler, his voice softer. He began to seek her opinion about new ventures. Madison, honored by the inclusion, didn’t have all the answers and was only a little ashamed of her ignorance, responded anyway. She celebrated her elevation and relevance in her husband’s life. She gloried in building a life for herself.
She thanked God for the fruit of her afore barren womb for when she gave birth, she herself was reborn.
© D.L. Lunsford